Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
- The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law, Public Law 108-79, signed into law in September 2003 by the President of the United States and now designated as 42 USC 15601.
- PREA establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual abuse of incarcerated persons of any age. This makes the prevention of sexual abuse in TJJD facilities a top priority.
- PREA sets a standard that protects the Eighth Amendment rights (Constitutional right prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment) of federal, state and local youth offenders.
- It increases the collection of nationwide data on sexual misconduct and sexual assault on confined persons.
- It increases accountability for administrators who fail to prevent, reduce, and punish sexual misconduct and sexual assaults.
PREA is the first United States Federal Law passed dealing with sexual abuse of
incarcerated persons. The bill was signed into law on September 4, 2003 and the
standards were published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2012 and became
effective on August 20, 2012. PREA covers all adult as well as juvenile detention
facilities. The definition of “prison” for the purposes of this act includes,
"any juvenile facility used for the custody or care of juvenile inmates."
PREA defines "prison" quite broadly. Within the context of PREA, prison is
defined as “any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local
jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities, and state and federal prisons”. Thus
short-term lockups, such as holding facilities and local jails, regardless of size,
are also subject to the provisions of PREA.
A copy of the federal PREA law, Public Law 108-79, codified as 42 USC 15601 can
be found on the following website: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ79/pdf/PLAW-108publ79.pdf
A copy of the Federal Register, June 20, 2012, Vol. 77, "Final Rule of the PREA Standards, 28 CFR Part 115" can be found on the
following website: http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does PREA impact TJJD facilities?
- PREA addresses the detection, response, prevention and elimination of sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment in all TJJD facilities
- PREA directs the collection and dissemination of information on the incidence of youth-on-youth sexual violence as well as staff sexual misconduct
with youth in TJJD.
- To whom does PREA apply?
PREA applies to all federal, state, local public and private institutions that houses juveniles and adult offenders, male and female.
- What is the evidence of TJJD’s commitment to maintaining a safe, humane, and appropriately secure environment for youth offenders?
TJJD has policy and standards for employees, volunteers and contractors that prohibit them from becoming inappropriately personally involved with
youthful offenders in our care. All staff, volunteers and contractors are provided training on professional ethics and in maintaining professional
boundaries when interacting with the youth. Employee disciplinary action, termination of volunteer and contractual services, and referral to the
Special Prosecution Unit (SPU) for alleged criminal misconduct is initiated when appropriate. The investigative staff of the TJJD Office of Inspector
General (OIG) and the TJJD Administrative Investigations Department has received and will continue to receive specialized training in conducting
investigations into sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. Furthermore, when sufficient evidence exists regarding alleged misconduct
of an employee, volunteer or contractor, TJJD does not hesitate to remove that employee, that volunteer or contractor.
The agency also supports criminal prosecution of that employee, volunteer or contractor. These are just some of the ways TJJD is committed to
maintaining a safe, humane, and appropriate secure environment for youthful offenders committed to our care.
- How does PREA impact TJJD employees?
PREA addresses the sexual safety of all youths in TJJD’s custody including our zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
Zero tolerance means that TJJD does not tolerate any form of sexual assault, sexual abuse or sexual harassment and affirms that there is no such thing as
consensual sex between a staff and a youth or between a youth and youth. Employees who violate this zero-tolerance policy will be subject to
disciplinary actions including termination, investigated by the OIG and referred for criminal prosecution to the SPU when appropriate.
- Why should I be concerned with sexual misconduct at my facility?
Sexual misconduct is not about sex. It is about safety and security. Both are compromised wherever boundaries
break down and a staff member becomes personally or intimately involved with a youth.
Staff Sexual Misconduct undermines the mission of TJJD by creating an unstable living and working environment for the youth
as well as supervising staff members. Staff sexual misconduct with a youth affects the correctional facility by:
- Jeopardizing staff safety
- Threatening the agency and facility safety and security
- Creating the risk of legal action--both criminal and civil
- Creating health risks
- Harming family relationships
- Creating negative public views of TJJD
- Diminishing trust and morale of staff and youth
- Weakening respect for, and the authority of, Juvenile Corrections Officer staff among the youth
What about youth who either manipulate the system using PREA or make false allegations against staff?
Staff are often concerned that addressing PREA-related issues in policy and procedure, and educating youth as to their
right to be safe while in custody, may result in false accusations or false reports of staff misconduct. Experience has
shown that there may be an initial spike in reporting, or reports that “test” the facility’s system and policy. However,
incidence of false reporting usually subsides when both staff and youth realize that there will be a thorough and timely
investigation of all incidences of alleged false reporting.
- Who do I contact if I have questions regarding PREA?
Questions regarding PREA may be referred to: Jerome K. Williams, Director I, PREA Compliance Administrator
Phone: 512-490-7671 Email: email@example.com
TJJD PREA Resources
- NEW! County End the Silence Collage Poster
- NEW! County End the Silence Collage Postcard (Front) :
- NEW! County End the Silence Collage Postcard (Back)
- NEW! County End the Silence Brochure
- NEW! County Report Abuse Brochure
- NEW! County End the Silence Poster (Female)
- NEW! County End the Silence Poster (Male)
- Zero Tolerance Poster
- Break the Silence Poster
- 2012 PREA Dashboard Report
- 2013 PREA Dashboard Report
- 2014 PREA Dashboard Report Action Plan
- It’s Your Right to Report What’s Wrong Brochure
- Survey of Sexual Violence Summary Form, 2012
- Survey of Sexual Victimization Summary Form, 2013
- New! Survey of Sexual Victimization Summary
- New! Survey of Sexual Victimization Incident Form
PDF (Part I)
PDF (Part II)
- Safeguarding Your Sexual Safety
- Safeguarding Your Sexual Safety Instructor's Guide
- Youth Handbook
TJJD Facility and Halfway House recommended for the PREA Audit in 2014 – High Restriction Facility:
- Ron Jackson’s re-accreditation in November of 2012
- Giddings’ re-accreditation in February of 2013
- Gainesville’s re-accreditation in November of 2013
- Mart Complex's re-accreditation in January of 2014
- Evins’ re-accreditation in March of 2014
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