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!

  1. If you are a national organization, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it urging the Attorney General to issue guidance to states by contacting Carmen Daugherty at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by August 30.
  2. 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.
  3. If you are an individual, sign the petition urging your Governor to implement the Prison Rape Elimination Act in its entirety.
  4. On Thursday, to mark the passage of the bill in the Senate, share these sample messages over Facebook and Twitter.

PREA Materials:

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:

--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:



--Youth who are held in adult facilities are at the greatest risk of rape and sexual victimization. #endprisonrape

--10 yrs ago, Prison Rape Elimination Act to end sexual abuse behind bars was passed. #Howlongwillittaketoendprisonrape

--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 #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:

Alabama Letter

Arkansas Letter

Arizona Letter

California Letter

Colorado Letter

Connecticut Letter

Delaware Letter

Florida Letter

Georgia Letter

Idaho Letter

Illinois Letter

Indiana Letter

Iowa Letter

Louisiana Letter

Maryland letter

Michigan Letter

Missouri Letter

Mississippi Letter

North Carolina Letter

Nebraska Letter

New Jersey Letter

New Mexico Letter

Nevada Letter

New York Letter

Ohio Letter

Oklahoma Letter

Oregon Letter

Pennsylvania Letter

South Carolina Letter

Texas Letter

Utah Letter

Vermont Letter

Virginia Letter

Washington Letter

Wisconsin Letter

West Virginia Letter

Wyoming 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.

First Focus

Fortune Society

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

Peace Alliance

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

Trevor Project

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

Youth Represent