AUSTIN, TX -- Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has told federal officials that Texas will now comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act after his predecessor spent years fighting the requirement.
Abbott told new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a letter this month Texas will "fully implement" the standards wherever feasible.
The law requires segregating younger inmates from those who are over 18. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry refused to comply with the act, in part, because Texas classifies 17-year-old criminal offenders as adults.
Texas lost $800,000 in federal funding for noncompliance last year. Bills that would have changed the age failed to pass the Texas Legislature this session.
Abbott says he expects three state-run facilities for 17-year-old inmates to meet federal requirements next year. County-run lockups must also comply or face penalties.