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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 4, 2003

Statement on Prison Rape Elimination Act
Statement by the President

Today, I have signed into Law S. 1435, the "Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003." The Act provides for analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State and local institutions, and for information, resources, recom-mendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape. The Act also creates a National Prison Rape Reduction Commission.

Section 7(h) of the Act purports to grant to the Commission a right of access to any Federal department or agency informa-tion it considers necessary to carry out its duties, and section 7(k)(3) provides for release of information to the public. The executive branch shall construe sections 7(h) and 7(k)(3) in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information when its disclosure could impair deliberative processes of the Executive or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties and, to the extent possible, in a manner consistent with Federal statutes protecting sensitive information from disclosure.



September 4, 2003.

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