Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA, P.L. 108-79) was enacted by Congress to address the problem of sexual abuse of persons in the custody of correctional agencies throughout the country. The Act applies to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders and is also relevant to community-based agencies. It addresses both inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse and staff sexual misconduct. The major provisions of PREA include:
- Adherence to a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of inmate sexual assault and rape;
- Development of standards for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape;
- Collection and dissemination of information on the incidence of prison rape; and
- Award of grant funds to help state and local governments implement the purposes of the Act.
Although the Act was legislated in 2003, the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape were not published in the Federal Register until June 20, 2012. These standards are applicable to adult prisons and jails, lockups, community confinement facilities, and juvenile facilities. A Juvenile Facility is defined as a facility primarily used for the confinement of juveniles pursuant to the juvenile justice system or criminal justice system.
A large part of the act is devoted to creating a culture of zero tolerance towards sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS) strives to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents committed to our facilities. As such, the BJJS has zero-tolerance of sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment against any resident in its custody. Anyone who suspects a resident at a BJJS facility is being sexually abused or sexually harassed is urged to contact ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. There, you will be able to make a confidential report to authorities who will ensure an investigation occurs.
In order to demonstrate compliance with the Act, all BJJS facilities must be audited once during each three-year audit cycle. The results of these audits will be published on this website for public review. Any questions or concerns regarding the PREA at BJJS facilities should be directed to:
Bureau of Juvenile Justice PREA Coordinator
Phone: (717) 787-9532