Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is a federal law established to address the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and rape in correctional systems. PREA applies to:

  • All federal, state, and local prisons
  • Jails
  • Police lock-ups
  • Private facilities
  • Community settings such as residential facilities

Major Provisions of PREA

  • Develop standards for detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.
  • Collect and disseminate information on the incidence of prison rape.

How Does PREA Apply to Jails?

PREA seeks to ensure that jails and other correctional settings protect inmates from sexual assault, sexual harassment, "consensual sex" with employees, and inmate-on-inmate sexual assault. These violations affect security and staff safety, and pose long-term risks to inmates and staff inside jails, and to the public when victimized inmates are released into the community.

PREA requires jails to keep data regarding inmate-on-inmate sexual assaults, nonconsensual sexual acts, and staff sexual misconduct.

Zero-Tolerance for Sexual Abuse

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has a zero-tolerance sexual abuse policy. It is the policy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department that sexual abuse with a business association with the Department, is prohibited. This could be by any of the following:

  • Contracted agency
  • Employee
  • Inmate
  • Non-Department member
  • Vendor
  • Volunteer

No individual, no matter his or her title or position has the authority to commit or allow sexual abuse.

Reporting a Sexual Assault

If you were the victim of a sexual assault while in the custody of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, or if you know of an incident of sexual assault or abuse of a person in custody you may report it to the Sheriff’s Department by using the following:National PREA Resource Center

The PREA Resource Center website has additional information on standards, policy and research.