Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
Ten Years and Waiting: A Decade Since the Passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act
Please Urge Your State to Comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act – The Safety of our Youth Depends on it
This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the U.S. Congress’ passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal statute focused on sexual assault and victimization in juvenile facilities, prisons, jail, lockups, and other detention facilities. The goal of PREA is to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in detention and correctional facilities.
However, it is not time to celebrate.
As we hit the 10 year milestone, young people involved in the criminal justice system still sit and wait in harm’s way for the passage of this law to take effect. By this September, Governors must begin auditing detention and correctional facilities to ensure full compliance with PREA or risk losing a percentage of federal funding allocated for justice programs in their state.
Regulations approved by the U.S. Department of Justice state that "as a matter of policy, the Department support(s) strong limitations on the confinement of adults with juveniles."
Compliance with the Youthful Inmate Standard of the law calls on states to limit contact between youth and adults in adult facilities by banning the housing of youth in the general adult population, prohibiting contact between youth and adults in common areas, and ensuring youth are constantly supervised by staff. States must also limit the use of isolation which causes or exacerbates mental health problems for youth.
Children in adult jails and prisons are:
--At the greatest risk of sexual victimization according to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission;
--Often placed in solitary confinement 'for their own protection' which is detrimental to their mental health and can result in suicide; and
--Denied educational services, counseling and other supports.
It is crucial that governors fully protect children from the dangers of adult jails and prisons. Rather than try to segregate children from adults in adult jails and prisons which often leads to solitary confinement, governors should implement best practices by removing youth from adult jails and prisons.
Take Action Now!
- If you are a national organization, please
urging the Attorney General to issue guidance to states by contacting Carmen Daugherty at
by August 30.
- If you are a state organization or individual, please call or write your Governor telling him or her that you demand he or she implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act in its entirety.
- If you are an individual, sign the petition urging your Governor to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act in its entirety.
- On Thursday, to mark the passage of the bill in the Senate, share these sample messages over Facebook and Twitter.
CFYJ Press Release
CFYJ Fact Sheet
CFYJ Infographic (download here)
PREA Panel with the American Bar Association:
On September 24, 2013, CFYJ along with the American Bar Association hosted a panel to commemorate the 10th anniversary of PREA becoming law, "Protecting the Incarcerated Client from Sexual Violence under the Prison Rape Elimination Act".
The observance featured a panel of experts that discussed DOJ standards and regulations designed to prevent victimization, ways to ensure states are implementing the regulations, as well as discussed tools to address prison rape and victimization. Panelists included: Hon. Bobby Scott, United States House of Representatives; Hon. Reggie Walton, United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Professor Brenda Smith, American University, Washington College of Law; T.J. Parsell, Author, Filmmaker and Human Rights Activist; Mary Lou Leary, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
Video highlights of the panel can be found, here.
Statements from Members of Congress Commemorating 10 year Anniversary:
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA)
Sample Social Media Messages:
--Ten years ago, the House passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars. Statistics show that youth in adult jails and prisons are significantly more likely than adults to be the victims of sexual violence. Take Action to end sexual violence of kids behind bars: http://ht.ly/n3vyH
--Ten years ago, the House passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars. What else has occurred in the last ten years? The invention of the iPhone, the invasion of Iraq, the invention of first cancer vaccine, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security #Howlongwillittaketoendprisonrape Take Action: http://ht.ly/n3vyH
--Youth who are held in adult facilities are at the greatest risk of rape and sexual victimization. #endprisonrape http://ht.ly/n3vyH
--10 yrs ago, Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars was passed. #Howlongwillittaketoendprisonrape http://ht.ly/n3vyH
--Every year 100,000 youth are in adult jails and prisons.
There's No Excuse! Protect Children from Rape in Adult Jails and Prisons. Visit here to see what you can do today http://tinyurl.com/c5ycxk5 #ImplementPREA
PREA Case Profiles:
Case Profile- Antonio Beale
Case Profile- Andrew Bibaud
Case Profile- Jonathan Sawyer
Case Profile- Burt Smith
Case Profile- Ameen Thomas
Background Materials on PREA:
DOJ federal register notice with proposed regulations implementing PREA
(Comments were due April 4, 2011)
DOJ federal register notice on NPREC standards
(Comments were due May 10, 2010)
National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report - June 2009
National Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:
Letter to Attorney General (2013)
State Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:
North Carolina Letter
New Jersey Letter
New Mexico Letter
New York Letter
South Carolina Letter
West Virginia Letter
Organization Sign on Letters in Support of the Implementation of PREA:
Advocacy for Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Advocates for Children and Youth
AIDS Foundation of Chicago and HIV Prevention Justice Alliance
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Civil Liberties Union
American Indian Affairs
American Probation and Parole Association
American Psychiatric Association
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor
Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth
Campaign for Youth Justice
Catholic Housing Services-Village Spirit Center
Center for Media Justice
Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions
Center on Children and Families
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Children’s Hope and Voice
Children's Hope and Voice, Inc.
Citiwide Harm Reduction
Civic Center Barrio Housing Corp.
Cleveland Nonviolence Network
Coalition For Juvenile Justice
Coalition on Human Needs
Community Action Partnership
Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance
Correctional Education Association
Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
Daughters of Charity Interprovincial House
Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona
Disciples Justice Action Network
Every Child Matters Coalition of Chemung County, New York
Family of Woodstock Inc.
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscans for Justice
Global Justice Institute
Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches
Gloria Dei Step Up Center
Grace House for Women
Human Rights Project for Girls
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Justice Policy Institute
Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC)
Juvenile Law Center
Kansas City Criminal Justice Task Force
Mental Health America
Mercy Housing and Shelter Corp.
Metropolitan Community Churches
Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency
Missouri Youth Services Institute
Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Association for Children's Behavioral Health
National Association of Counties
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Black Law Students Association
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Center for Youth Law
National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
National Collaboration for Youth
National Council of Jewish Women
National Crittenton Foundation
National Disability Rights Network
National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National Juvenile Defender Center
National Juvenile Detention Association
National Juvenile Justice Network
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Network for Youth
National Organization of Asian Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence
National Partnership for Juvenile Services
National Women Law Partnership
New Orleans Interfaith Worker Justice
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Nisaa Africa Women’s Project
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Pretrial Justice Institute
Public Justice Center
Save the Children
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Central Leadership
Siuslaw Area Partnership to Prevent Substance Abuse
Somerville Homeless Coalition
Southern Center for Human Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southwest Key Programs, Inc.
St Cyprians Justice & Peace Ministry
Student Peace Alliance
Texans Care for Children
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
The Equity Project
The Humanitarian Alliance
The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community
The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
The Sentencing Project
Transgender Law Center
Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the B.V.M. - US Province
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
W. Haywood Burns Institute
Wisconsin Council on Children and Families
Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual
Youth Advocate Programs
Youth Law Center