Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)




The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) directs the Department of Justice to provide grants to jurisdictions and agencies nationwide to “protect inmates (particularly from prison rape) and to safeguard the communities to which inmates return.” 34 USC § 30305(a).

The purpose of the PREA Grant Program is to assist confinement facilities and the agencies that oversee them in preventing, identifying, and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in confinement facilities, and to achieve and to maintain compliance with the PREA standards.

On September 4, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The goal of PREA is to eradicate prisoner rape in all types of correctional facilities in this country. As a result of PREA, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) established the Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004. Funding was made available to states to support efforts to prevent and eliminate prisoner rape between inmates in state and local prisons, jails, and police lockup facilities and to safeguard the communities to which inmates return. The two main goals of the Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Program are to assist states and local jurisdictions in ensuring that budget cuts do not compromise efforts to protect inmates and to safeguard communities upon the inmate’s re-entry.

In FY 2011, BJA established the PREA Demonstration Projects to Establish “Zero Tolerance” Cultures for Sexual Assault Program. The PREA Program provides funding to state and local governments and federally recognized tribes for demonstration projects within confinement settings including, adult prisons and jails, juvenile facilities; community corrections facilities; law enforcement lockups and other temporary holding facilities, and tribal detention facilities.

For additional information on PREA Grant program administered by LEPC contact Ana M. Creque (340) 774-6400 ext. 209 or via email