There is established a commission to be known as the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (in this section referred to as the “Commission”).
Each member of the Commission shall be an individual who has knowledge or expertise in matters to be studied by the Commission.
The President, the Speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, and the majority leader and minority leader of the Senate shall consult with one another prior to the appointment of the members of the Commission to achieve, to the maximum extent possible, fair and equitable representation of various points of view with respect to the matters to be studied by the Commission.
The appointment of the members shall be made not later than 60 days after September 4, 2003.
Not later than 15 days after appointments of all the members are made, the President shall appoint a chairperson for the Commission from among its members.
The Commission shall meet at the call of the chairperson. The initial meeting of the Commission shall take place not later than 30 days after the initial appointment of the members is completed.
A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum to conduct business, but the Commission may establish a lesser quorum for conducting hearings scheduled by the Commission.
In conjunction with the report submitted under subsection (d)(3), the Commission shall provide the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services with recommended national standards for enhancing the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.
The Commission shall not propose a recommended standard that would impose substantial additional costs compared to the costs presently expended by Federal, State, and local prison authorities.
In developing recommended national standards for enhancing the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape, the Commission shall consider any standards that have already been developed, or are being developed simultaneously to the deliberations of the Commission. The Commission shall consult with accreditation organizations responsible for the accreditation of Federal, State, local or private prisons, that have developed or are currently developing standards related to prison rape. The Commission will also consult with national associations representing the corrections profession that have developed or are currently developing standards related to prison rape.
The Commission shall hold public hearings. The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties under this section.
Witnesses requested to appear before the Commission shall be paid the same fees as are paid to witnesses under section 1821 of title 28. The per diem and mileage allowances for witnesses shall be paid from funds appropriated to the Commission.
The Commission may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out its duties under this section. The Commission may request the head of any State or local department or agency to furnish such information to the Commission.
The members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5 while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of service for the Commission.
With the affirmative vote of ⅔ of the Commission, any Federal Government employee, with the approval of the head of the appropriate Federal agency, may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status, benefits, or privileges.
With a ⅔ affirmative vote, the Commission may select nongovernmental researchers and experts to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this chapter. The National Institute of Justice shall contract with the researchers and experts selected by the Commission to provide funding in exchange for their services.
The Commission may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of written or other matter.
In the case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena, the Attorney General may in a Federal court of appropriate jurisdiction obtain an appropriate order to enforce the subpoena.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.
The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Commission submits the reports required by this section.
The Commission shall be exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act.