CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE PUBLIC POLICIES

Police & Law Enforcement Short-term Holding Facilities & The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003

Information and Assistance for Law Enforcement & Chiefs of Police

 
What is PREA? | Law Enforcement & Police - How do the PREA standards impact lock-ups? | FAQ's
PREA Definitions | What should our agency be doing now? | Training Guides
Reports/Articles |Other Resources
 

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is applicable to lock-ups and short-term holding facilities operated by law enforcement agencies, regardless of arrestees’ length of stay. If your agency is responsible for operating short-term arrestee holding facilities– “lock-ups” – then you need to be up-to-date about PREA and what it means to your agency.

The PREA Resource Center the Center, The Center for Innovative Public Policies, Inc. (CIPP), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) are working together to educate and inform law enforcement agencies about the impact of PREA and how they can become compliant with PREA standards.

The PREA Resource Center (PRC), funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), provides information, training and technical assistance to organizations responsible for operating short-term holding. Information on the PRC can be found at www.prearesourcecenter.or g.

To contact CIPP for more information mmccampbell@cipp.org .

WHAT IS PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed unanimously by Congress, and signed by President Bush in 2003. The final standards were published on May 17, 2012, and can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_final_rule.pdf

Some important goals of the PREA standards are to:

  • Address the detection, elimination and prevention of sexual assault and rape in correctional systems, including lock-ups operated by law enforcement;

  • Direct collection and dissemination of information on the incidence of arrestee-on-arrestee sexual violence as well as staff sexual misconduct with arrestees; and

  • Provide ways for agencies to improve their policies, procedures, and operations to prevent and reduce the incidents of sexual abuse in their facilities.

For purposes of PREA, the term “prison” applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police lock-ups, temporary holding cells, juvenile facilities, and community confinement facilities. The term “inmate” applies to any person held in a custodial setting for any length of time by any of the facility types mentioned above.

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LAW ENFORCEMENT AND POLICE - HOW DO THE PREA STANDARDS IMPACT LOCK-UPS?

The PREA standards are designed to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse (detainee-on detainee and staff-on-detainee) in any confinement setting. The standards consist of policies and procedures that are intended to be attainable by all affected agencies. The lockup section of the standards can be found at www.theiacp.org/PREA .

The PREA lockup standards include sections on the following subjects. (The number of standards for each section are shown in parentheses):

• Prevention planning (8)
• Responsive planning (2)
• Training and education (3)
• Screening for risk of victimization and abusiveness ((2)
• Reporting (2)
• Official response following a detainee report (7)
• Investigations (2)
• Discipline (3)
• Medical and mental care (1)
• Data collection and review (4)
• Audits (1)

Compliance with all standards is mandatory. Compliance will be measured by audits conducted at agency expense by outside auditors trained by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ).

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FAQs

Can the agency be sued for not complying with PREA?

No. PREA does not create any right to sue. However, law enforcement agencies are already required by federal and state law to operate within Constitutional requirements and assure the safety of those in custody. All states have laws prohibiting sexual misconduct. More importantly, there is an ethical responsibility to protect the safety of staff and those in one’s custody. Failure to protect can result in civil liability for the organization, supervisors and staff, both personally and professionally.

 

 

 

 


 

What are the consequences for not complying with PREA?

This information is not in final form but the FAQs on the PREA Resource Center website indicate that under PREA, the attorney general is required to publish a list each fiscal year of those grant programs that may be at risk for failure to comply with the standards.

• That list has not been finalized because the penalties will not take effect until fiscal year 2014, and it is not yet known which current grant programs will continue to be funded, and which new grant programs may be created, by that year.

• As an example, if the list were created using the fiscal year 2012 appropriations, the list would likely include, most notably, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice grant program, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act formula grant program, and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program.
 

What if we only operate a small lock-up, or have only a small number of holding cells?

PREA is applicable to the smallest, one-room lock-up, as well as lock-ups that hold hundreds of detainees. The only difference is that agencies who do not hold arrestees overnight are not subject to the audit requirement of the standards.

We have no reports of staff sexual misconduct or arrestee-arrestee sexual assault. Why should we be concerned about PREA?

No facility, whether large or small, is immune to staff sexual misconduct and arrestee sexual assault. Some agencies may find that they don’t receive reports about incidents, because of a lack of training, a strong “code of silence,” or unclear or compromised reporting mechanisms for employees and arrestees. Agencies that have no reports of such incidents should examine their reporting procedures to insure that administrators are receiving allegations and investigating them appropriately.

What about arrestees who either manipulate the system using PREA or make false allegations against employees?

Often, administrators or employees are understandably concerned that addressing PREA-related issues in policy and procedure, and educating arrestees of their right to be safe while in custody, may result in false accusations or reports of misconduct. Experience has shown that there may be an initial spike in reporting, or reports that “test” the system. However, this usually stops when both employees and arrestees realize that there will be thorough and timely investigations—of all arrestees—and consequences for those who make false reports.

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PREA DEFINITIONS

The following are the behaviors PREA addresses:

Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by another inmate, detainee, or resident includes any of the following acts, if the victim does not consent, is coerced into such act by overt or implied threats of violence, or is unable to consent or refuse:

(1) Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight;

(2) Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus;

(3) Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument; and

(4) Any other intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks of another person, excluding contact incidental to a physical altercation.

 

Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer includes any of the following acts, with or without consent of the inmate, detainee, or resident:

(1) Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight;

(2) Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus;

(3) Contact between the mouth and any body part where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;

(4) Penetration of the anal or genital opening, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument, that is unrelated to official duties or where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;

(5) Any other intentional contact, either directly or through the clothing, of or with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks, that is unrelated to official duties or where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;

(6) Any attempt, threat, or request by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer to engage in the activities described in paragraphs (1)-(5) of this section;

(7) Any display by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer of his or her uncovered genitalia, buttocks, or breast in the presence of an inmate, detainee, or resident, and

(8) Voyeurism by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer.

 

Voyeurism by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer means an invasion of privacy of an inmate, detainee, or resident by staff for reasons unrelated to official duties, such as peering at an inmate who is using a toilet in his or her cell to perform bodily functions; requiring an inmate to expose his or her buttocks, genitals, or breasts; or taking images of all or part of an inmate’s naked body or of an inmate performing bodily functions.

 

Sexual harassment:

(1) Repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one inmate, detainee, or resident directed toward another; and

(2)Repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer, including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene language or gestures. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING NOW?

Here are suggestions to begin your agency’s review of the impact of PREA on your operations and move toward compliance with the standards.

 

·    Review the PREA standards.  Internet addresses for the standards were provided earlier in this document.

·    Compare PREA standards to your current policies and practices.  In what areas are you doing well?  Where can you improve?  What resources will be required?  How can your agency document compliance?

·    Designate a PREA coordinator.  This does not need to be a full-time position.

·    Develop a PREA implementation plan.  Use the tools available through the PRC, and in 2013 the IACP, to help develop your plan.

·    Draft a policy on zero-tolerance of sexual abuse.

·    Conduct training of all personnel, including staff, volunteers, contractors, and any incarcerated personnel.

·    Use the lockup toolkit (which can be found on the PRC website in Spring 2012).

·    Ask questions and request assistance from other agencies, your state’s Department of Corrections PREA coordinator, and the PRC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TRAINING GUIDES:

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REPORTS / ARTICLES

Here are other resources that can assist your agency in reviewing the impact of PREA on agency operations.

Jordan, Andrew, Marcia Morgan and Michael McCampbell, “The Prison Rape Elimination Act: What Police Chiefs Need to Know”, Police Chief Magazine, International Association of Chiefs of Police, vol. 73, no. 4, April 2006, http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=864&issue_id=42006

 

McCampbell, Michael S., “Prison Rape Elimination Act:  Impact on Police Chiefs ,” Subject to Debate, Police Executive Research Forum, September 2005, Vol. 19, No. 9,  page 5, http://www.calea.org/es/node/1356  

 

Update on the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Police Chief Magazine, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Vol. LXXVII, No. 4, April 2010,  http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&article_id=2054&issue_id=42010/

 

Vera Institute of Justice, Confronting Confinement: A Report of the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons http://www.vera.org/project/commission-safety-and-abuse-americas-prisons

 

End to Silence, website of the Washington College of Law, The American University http://www.wcl.american.edu/nic/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER RESOURCES

There are other resources that can assist your agency in reviewing the impact of PREA on agency operations.

 

·    PREA Resource Center-- www.prearesourcecenter.org—Provides training, technical assistance, webinars, sample policies and procedures, answers to frequently asked questions, and an extensive library of other resources.

 

·    International Association of Chiefs of Police, Elimination of Sexual Abuse in Confinement Initiative www.theiacp.org/PREA--Provides guides on addressing sexual offenses and misconduct by law enforcement; investigative strategies for sexual assaults; and strategies for engaging in victim oriented policing.

 

·    National Institute of Corrections (NIC) www.nicic.org Provides information on the resources to address PREA.

 

·    Addressing Sexual Violence in Prisons: A National Snapshot of Approaches and Highlights of Innovative Strategies http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411367_psv_programs.pdf

 

·    Washington College of Law, The American University, The Project on Addressing Prison Rape  http://www.wcl.american.edu/endsilence/

 

·    Just Detention International http://www.justdetention.org

 

·    National Center for 4 Youths in Custody http://nc4yc.org/

 

·    USDOJ, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/drs/

 

·    National Disability Rights Network AKA - (P&A) http://www.napas.org/

 

·    A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents, 2004 https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ovw/206554.pdf

 

·    State Sexual Assault Coalitions, Department’s Office on Violence Against Women http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/statedomestic.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[1] The work of The Moss Group and the National Institute of Corrections is acknowledged in this section, as portions of their work have been updated and included in this document. 

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The Center of Innovative Public Policies, Inc.  |  1880 Crestview Way  |  Naples, Florida 34119-3306
Phone: (239) 597-5906  |
susanmccampbell@cipp.org