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PREA Fact Sheet

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003(PREA) is the first United States federal law passed supporting the final National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape and other inappropriate behaviors (PREA). The standards were signed by Attorney General Eric Holder on May 16, 2012 and released by the United States Department of Justice on May 17, 2012. They were published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2012. The standards are immediately effective for the Bureau of Prisons. They become effective for jails, juvenile correction and other confinement facilities sixty (60) days following their publication in the Federal Register, or on August 20, 2012.

The standards can be found: Here.

PREA supports the elimination, reduction and prevention of sexual abuse and sexual harassment within corrections systems. PREA:

  • Establishes a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of sexual abuse in confinement settings in the United States;

  • Makes the prevention of sexual abuse a top priority in each correctional system;

  • Develops and implements national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape;

  • Increases the accountability of corrections officials who fail to detect, prevent, reduce, and punish prison rape;

  • Requires the collection of statistical data regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse in facilities;

  • Provides periodic funding of grants for state correctional systems to address factors that contribute to the incidence of sexual abuse.

The National PREA Resource Center (PRC) http://www/prearesourcecenter.org has been established to provide assistance to state and local agencies working to address sexual abuse in their confinement facilities, both adult and juvenile. One of the primary goals of the PRC is to help with implementation of the standards and a broader mission to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and sharing examples of innovation and emerging best practices. The PRC website offers a full library with research and tools to help agencies develop PREA policies and implement the standards.

All juvenile correctional facilities that provide confinement to youth are mandated to meet the PREA standards. The first cycle of audits will begin August 20, 2013. Each facility that contracts with the Alabama Department of Youth Services to provide residential services to juveniles will be audited by an independent, certified PREA auditor arranged for and paid for by the private provider. Files have to be developed for each PREA standard to demonstrate agency compliance. Policies and procedures must be in place to support the standards. Facilities must be found in compliance with PREA in order to continue providing services youth served by DYS. Alabama is required to have one third of DYS and contract facilities audited within the 12-month period beginning August 20, 2013 and ending August 20, 2014 and a third each year thereafter. Audits will be required every three years from the date of the initial audits.

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