Letterhead
 


Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)



Introduction


The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law, Public Law 108-79, signed into law in September 2003 by the President of the United States and now designated as 42 USC 15601.  PREA establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual abuse of incarcerated persons of any age.  This makes the prevention of sexual abuse in the Taylor County Juvenile Services Department facility a top priority.  PREA sets a standard that protects the Eighth Amendment rights (Constitutional right prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment) of federal, state and local juvenile offenders.  It increases the collection of nationwide data on sexual misconduct and sexual assault of confined persons.  It increases accountability for administrators who fail to prevent, reduce, and punish sexual misconduct and sexual assaults.

Federal Law


PREA is the first United States Federal Law passed dealing with sexual abuse of incarcerated persons.,  The bill was signed into law on September 4, 2003 and the standards were published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2012 and became effective on August 20, 2012.  PREA covers all adult, as well as juvenile detention facilities.  The definition of "prison" for the purposes of this act includes, "any juvenile facility used for the custody or care of juvenile inmates."

PREA defines "prison" quite broadly.  Within the context of PREA, prison is defined as "any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities, and state and federal prisons."  Thus, short-term lockups, such as holding facilities and local jails, regardless of size, are also subject to the provisions of PREA.
   
A copy of the Federal Register, June 20, 2012, Vol. 77, "Final Rule of the PREA Standards, 28 CFR Park 115" can be found on the following website:
 http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/

 

Texas Law


Texas has a specific criminal law for employees and or agents who sexually abuse confined persons as related to prosecution of PREA-related incidents.  The links to these penal codes are as follows:
Texas Penal Code, Title 8.  Offenses Against Public Administration, Ch. 39. Abuse of Office:
 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.39.htm
 
Texas Penal Code, Title 5. Offenses Against The Person, Ch. 21. Sexual Offenses:
 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.21.htm
 
Texas Penal Code, Title 5. Offenses Against The Person, Ch. 22. Assaultive Offenses:
 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm