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What to do About PREA
National Jail Exchange

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By Connie Clem, Principal of Clem Information Strategies

In late summer 2013, correctional agencies will experience the first audits on their compliance with the new Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards released by the U.S. Attorney General in August 2012. The PREA Standards are intended to provide guidance to correctional agencies for managing facilities that are safer and free from sexual coercion and harassment. Over the upcoming 3 years, each adult correctional facility and each residential facility for juvenile offenders can expect to undergo its first audit. Audits will be repeated on a 3-year cycle.

This article suggests ways correctional agencies can make progress toward PREA compliance fairly simply and inexpensively. The approaches described have been shared at meetings of NIC's Large Jail Network (LJN), where participants have been discussing PREA issues and implementation since the PREA law was passed in 1996.

Specific how-to suggestions cover these areas:

• Creating culture change and promoting a zero-tolerance standard,

• Following high-quality professional practice,

• Establishing a coordinated agency approach,

• Preventing incidents and coercion, and

• Responding to alleged incidents.

The article first appeared in the November-December 2012 issue of American Jails magazine (Volume 26, no. 5, pp. 8-14) and is featured here courtesy of the American Jail Association.

Posted Thu, Dec 27 2012 7:33 AM by Susan Powell


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