1. What is PREA
  2. How to Report Sexual Abuse Behind Bars
  3. PREA Audit Results

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003). In addition to creating a mandate for significant research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and through the National Institute of Justice, funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Corrections supported major efforts on many state correctional, juvenile detention, community corrections, and jail systems.

The act also created the National Prison Rape Commission and charged it with developing draft standards for the elimination of prison rape. Those standards were published in 2009 and were turned over to the Department of Justice for review and passage as a final rule. The final rule became effective August 20, 2012.

In 2010, the Bureau of Justice Assistance funded the National PREA Resource Center to continue to provide federally funded training and technical assistance t states and localities, as well as to serve as a single stop resource for leading research and tools for those in the field working to come into compliance with the federal standards.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office-Jail has a zero tolerance policy with regard to sexual abuse and sexual harassment within this facility.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will take appropriate measures to protect all inmates from sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and will promptly and thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment (28 CFR 115.11).