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Jail Pro Lesson Summaries

2022 Lesson 5: PREA Part 1


Release Date:


This is Part 1 of a two-part online technical skills lesson on preventing confinement sexual abuse/PREA for correctional officers. The  purpose of this lesson is to provide basic information and guidance to  correctional officers regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003  (“PREA”). Despite what the name implies, PREA does not just apply to  prisons nor does it just apply to rape. Rather, it protects anyone in confinement, even in a halfway house or tribal facility, from any type  of sexual assault or sexual harassment by staff, inmates, contractors,  volunteers, or others. Accordingly, it is important for correctional  officers to have a basic understanding of PREA requirements, both  because they interact with detainees/inmates and because they sometimes  investigate crimes committed against them. This lesson focuses on the  PREA standards applicable in jails and police lockups. The lesson  provides examples from actual cases of sexual abuse by inmates and  staff.
    This lesson examines the dynamics of sexual  abuse in detention, including the prevalence of detention sexual abuse  and risk factors for victimization. It explains the continuum of abusive  behaviors, identifies how heterosexism and homophobia in detention  facilities can encourage the targeting of anyone who does not conform to  gender norms, and examines common barriers victims face to reporting sexual abuse in jails and detention facilities.
    The  lesson includes PREA definitions. It explains PREA’s required  zero-tolerance policy towards all forms of sexual abuse and sexual  harassment. It examines PREA requirements regarding: the housing of  youthful inmates, cross-gender viewing and searches, inmates with  disabilities, evidence protocols, and training requirements.
    The lesson explains PREA’s risk-screening requirements and their  importance to police. Finally, the lesson examines PREA’s reporting and  investigations requirements, including the requirement that agencies  provide multiple internal ways for inmates to privately report sexual  abuse and sexual harassment, retaliation, and neglect.

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