What is PREA?
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is a Federal law established to address the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and rape in correctional systems. PREA applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police lockups, private facilities, and community settings such as residential facilities. The major provisions of PREA are to:
- Develop standards for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape
- Collect and disseminate information on the incidence of prison rape
- Award grants and technical assistance to help state governments implement the Act
How Does PREA Apply to Jails?
PREA seeks to insure that jails and other correctional settings protect inmates from sexual assault, sexual harassment, "consensual sex" with employees, and inmate-inmate sexual assault. These violations affect security and staff safety, and pose long-term risks to inmates and staff inside jails, and to the public when victimized inmates are released into the community.
PREA requires jails to keep data regarding inmate-inmate sexual assaults, nonconsensual sexual acts, and staff sexual misconduct. For more information about the PREA data collection efforts, click here.
National PREA Resource Center: funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, has a wealth of resources in the library and on the TTA page including several curricula and archived webinars. There is also have info about audits and a frequently asked questions page with answers to interpretive guidance questions from DOJ.
The law – Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (pdf)
What does PREA mean to Sheriffs? – Prison Rape Elimination Act and Local Jails: The Facts (pdf)
State laws about abuse of persons in custody – Fifty-State Survey of Criminal Laws Prohibiting Sexual Abuse of Individuals in Custody (pdf)
Law Enforcement Short-Term Holding Facilities (LockUps) and PREA – PREA is applicable to lockups and short-term holding facilities operated by law enforcement agencies, regardless if arrestees stay an hour, or three days.
More reading and information
Where to get help?
To request technical assistance regarding jail issues and PREA, contact Dee Halley firstname.lastname@example.org, National Institute of Corrections (NIC).
To request technical assistance regarding law enforcement/lockup issues and PREA, click here, ask a question here, or signup for updates here.