August 30, 2016

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What Is PREA?

 
Gordon Graham
Category: Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with PREA.

These standards are intended provide agencies with guidelines for comprehensive approaches to prevention, detection and responses to incidences of sexual abuse in the custody environment.

What the heck is PREA, you ask? PREA is the “Prison Rape Elimination Act.” We are constantly looking for input for topics for the Today’s Tips and this suggestion comes from Josh Turley, Risk Manager for the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.  

For those of you who may not be familiar with PREA, this federal legislation was passed in 2003 with the rare, unanimous support from both parties in Congress. Despite the term “Prison” in the title, PREA applies to county jails, juvenile detention facilities and local holding facilities too. In 2012, The National PREA Commission published their standards with the goal of the elimination of prison rape. These standards are intended provide agencies with guidelines for comprehensive approaches to prevention, detection and responses to incidences of sexual abuse in the custody environment.  

So how does this affect you? If your agency has one of these custody facilities, you are required to have policies in place, and training related to those policies which meet the federal standards. Your agency needs to have designated PREA coordinator who will develop, implement and oversee your agency’s efforts to comply with the PREA standards 

If your agency subscribes to the Lexipol Law Enforcement Policy Manual or the Lexipol Custody Manual—you are in luck. You have PREA policies in place and your personnel are trained on those policies with the Daily Training Bulletins. If you do not have PREA Policies and Training in place, your agency is at risk. 

Before we finish up here, let’s just stop for a second and contemplate the term. Prison Rape. Just saying it brings a shudder down my spine. This is a serious issue. Even the worst career criminal is not deserving of being sexually assaulted while in custody. And the fact is, those most at risk are the first time offenders and others with little experience in the custody environment. Get your PREA Policies and Training in place. 

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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