President Obama’s Department of Justice recently released new regulations to prevent prison rape. “Sexual violence, against any victim, is an assault on human dignity and an affront to American values,” Obama said when announcing the new initiative. “The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) was enacted with bipartisan support and established a ‘zero-tolerance standard’ for rape in prisons in the United States.”
But the new regulations won’t be cheap; it’s expected to cost nearly $7 billion. Released today by the Federal Register, the cost more precisely will be $6.9 billion. The paperwork burden is expected to be 148,455 hours.
The costs, according to analysis produced by the American Action Forum, will be passed down to the states. “Despite an admirable goal, this ‘landmark rule’ imposes a costly, complicated regulatory framework on states currently battling recurring budget deficits, offers little assurance of success, and fails to explain this new burden to the states as required by the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act,” the AAF analysis states.