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Nprec Statement on Dont Drop the Soap Game by Sebelius 2008

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For Immediate Release
January 29, 2008

Contact: Mark Glaze
(202) 271-0982

BIPARTISAN PANEL CONDEMNS "DON'T DROP THE SOAP" BOARD GAME
National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Asks Game’s Creator to Abandon
Plans to Sell Game Making Light of Prison Sexual Assault
Washington, DC – The bipartisan National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (“the
Commission”) today released the following statement calling on John Sebelius to abandon his
plans to market a prison-themed board game called Don’t Drop the Soap.
The Commission has been charged by Congress and the President with developing zerotolerance national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction and punishment of sexual
violence behind bars.

“We are dismayed by media reports that John Sebelius plans to market a prisonthemed board game he created called Don’t Drop the Soap. While we have only
seen the game as it is pictured on the sales website and described in the numerous
news stories of the past two days, the title of the game and its website’s reference to
“being cornered by the Aryans in the Shower Room” are coarse popular references
to rape in prisons, making light of a serious and all-too-pervasive violent sex crime.
We urge Mr. Sebelius to abandon his plans for this disappointing enterprise.
We suspect Mr. Sebelius wouldn’t be so unfeeling as to create a game about women
being raped or the sexual abuse of children. We hope he will recognize that using
crass and sophomoric humor to make light of sexual assault behind bars, a similarly
violent crime that violates the human rights and dignity of its victims, is equally
unacceptable.
A Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey released in December 2007 found that
4.5 percent of inmates who participated in the survey reported an incident of sexual
victimization, either inmate-on-inmate or staff-on-inmate, in the past 12 months.
With a current U.S. prison population of more than 1.5 million, that statistic
suggests that more than 70,000 prisoners were victims of sexual violence in one
year alone.
Sexual assault behind bars is a problem in correctional facilities throughout the
country, including those in Mr. Sebelius’ home state of Kansas. The BJS survey

found that a significant number of assaults, both staff-on-inmate and inmate-oninmate, had occurred in the Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
Every year, 600,000 inmates are released into communities across the nation.
Making light of this problem dehumanizes the many thousands of inmates who
have suffered sexual assault, and who will deal for the rest of their lives with its
physical and psychological repercussions.
Preventing sexual assault behind bars must be a top priority in every detention
facility in the United States, and we hope Mr. Sebelius will abandon his plans to
market this game.”

The Commissioners are the Honorable Reggie B. Walton, who serves as Chairman, Vice
Chairman John A. Kaneb, James Aiken, Jamie Fellner, Pat Nolan, Gus Puryear, Brenda V.
Smith, and Cindy Struckman-Johnson. For more information about the Commission and its
work, please visit www.nprec.us.
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