Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)
Public Law 108-79
28 CFR Part 115
National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape in Confinement Facilities
In 2003 President Bush signed PREA into law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) then started working to develop national standards for implementation by federal, state, and local correctional organizations. The intended purpose of these standards is to provide comprehensive guidelines for preventing, detecting and responding to incidents of sexual abuse involving inmates in a confinement facility. After a lengthy process that included public review and comment, the DOJ published minimum PREA standards that significantly impact administrative and operational procedures of federal, state and local adult prisons and jails, lockups, community confinement facilities and juvenile facilities. The national PREA standards became effective on August 20, 2012.
On September 1, 2012 Secretary Maynard issued a directive establishing a “zero” tolerance policy for sexual abuse and sexual harassment of inmates. The directive designates a PREA Coordinator, establishes a network of PREA Compliance Managers (PCM), formalizes the PREA Committee (first formed in 2005), and assigns specific responsibilities to the PREA Coordinator and PREA Committee for oversight of all activities designed to integrate the national PREA standards into Department administrative and operational activities. This directive confirms that the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services:
- Does not tolerate sexual abuse or sexual harassment of an inmate;
- Shall continue an aggressive approach to preventing, detecting, and responding to acts of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving an inmate; and
- Shall ensure that existing efforts and new strategies to prevent, detect, and respond to acts of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving an inmate comply with applicable national PREA standards.
All complaints of sexual misconduct or sexual assault are considered to be serious incidents that will be thoroughly investigated. The Department’s Internal Investigative Division is in charge of all PREA related investigations and will accept complaints from any concerned individual. Should an investigation reveal misconduct of a criminal nature the case will be referred to the local state’s attorney for prosecution. All confirmed incidents can result in administrative sanctions and/or criminal prosecution.
Audits. In compliance with PREA standards the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services will continue the audit process to certify compliance at all facilities within the required three year period. Copies of PREA audits are available on this website.
You may contact the Department's PREA Coordinator at the following address:
Office of the Deputy Secretary - Operatons
300 E. Joppa Road, Suite 1000
Towson, MD 21286
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
300 E. Joppa Road,
Towson, MD 21286
Internal Investigative Division