PREA Demonstration Projects to Establish “Zero Tolerance” Cultures For Sexual Assault in Local Adult and Juvenile Correctional Facilities

Based on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), approximately 200,000 adult prisoners and jail inmates suffered some form of sexual abuse while incarcerated during 20081 (see BJS, Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates,


2008–09 (August 2010)).This suggests 4. 4 percent of the prison population and 3. 1 percent of the jail population within the United States suffered sexual abuse during that year.

In some prisons, nearly 9 percent of the population reported abuse within that time; in some jails the corresponding rate approached 8 percent.

In juvenile facilities, the numbers are similarly troubling.

At least 17,100 adjudicated or committed youth (amounting to some 12 percent of the total population in juvenile detention facilities) reported having suffered sexual abuse within 12 months of arriving at their facility, with rates as high as 36 percent in specific facilities (see BJS, Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008–09 (January 2010), pages 1, 4).The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) (P.L.

108-79) requires the Attorney General to promulgate regulations that adopt national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.

PREA established the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (Commission) to carry out a comprehensive legal and factual study of the penological, physical, mental, medical, social, and economic impacts of prison rape in the United States, and to recommend national standards to the Attorney General and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Commission recommended four sets of national standards for eliminating prison rape and other forms of sexual abuse in a report available at

Each set is applicable to one of the following four confinement settings:
(1) adult prisons and jails; (2) juvenile facilities; (3) community corrections facilities; and (4) lockups (i.e., temporary holding facilities).

The Commission recommended that its standards apply to federal, state, and local correctional and detention facilities (excluding facilities operated by the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Indian Affairs).Based on the Commission’s recommendations, DOJ published a proposed rule in 2011, and based on public comments, revisions were made as warranted, and the standards have been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget for final review.

DOJ’s proposed rule can be found at:

It is anticipated the final standards will published by late Spring 201 2. The standards seek to prevent sexual abuse and to reduce theharm that it causes when it occurs and consist of 11 categories:
prevention planning; responsive planning; training and education; screening for risk of sexual victimization and abusiveness; reporting; official response following an inmate report; investigations; discipline; medical and mental care; data collection and review; and audits.This program is funded under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub.


Demonstration projects funded through this solicitation will support comprehensive approaches within local adult and juvenile correctional facilities to prevent, detect, and respond to incidences of sexual victimization.
Related Programs

PREA Program: Strategic Support for PREA Implementation

Department of Justice

Agency: Department of Justice

Office: Office of Justice Programs

Estimated Funding: Not Available

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