The Prison Rape Elimination Act: What Police Chiefs Need to Know

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law (P.L.108-79) by President Bush on September 4, 2003. The goal of PREA is to eradicate sexual assaults in all “correctional” facilities in the United States. That includes police lock-ups and holding facilities. Although no one knows the extent of sexual assaults in prisons, jails, immigration facilities, tribal jails, juvenile detention, police holding cells, and other institutions in the United States, experts have conservatively estimated that nearly 200,000 inmates now incarcerated have been or will be victims of prison rape.