Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
What is PREA
In September of 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law. PREA is a federal mandate of “Zero Tolerance” to sexual assaults on a national forum. PREA is the first national law to be passed addressing sexual assault behind bars. The law was passed unanimously and quickly by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Some of the components of PREA include: establishing a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of rape in prisons in the United States and make the prevention of prison rape a top priority in each prison system. Furthermore, it created a plan to develop and implement national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape, as well as, increase the availability of data and information about the incidence of prison rape.
In accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, The Lincoln County Detention Center is required to undergo a PREA audit. We are required to post a copy of the Final Report once the audit is completed
Zero Tolerance Policy
In accordance with the standards set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), the Lincoln County Detention Center has a zero tolerance policy for any act of assault, abuse, misconduct and harassment, of a sexual nature, perpetrated by another inmate/detainee or staff member, regardless of consent. Sexual conduct between inmates/detainees and staff, volunteers, or contract personnel, regardless of consensual status, is prohibited and subject to appropriate personnel action up to and including termination and potential criminal prosecution. There is no consent for sexual behavior in a custody environment.
Reporting Sexual Assaults
Lincoln County Detention Staff
Due to the serious nature of sexual assaults, any staff member knowledgeable of any inmate on inmate or staff on inmate sexual assault that occurs within an Lincoln County Detention Center must immediately report the allegation to the unit administration in accordance with agency policies.
Inmates are encouraged to immediately report allegations of sexual assault to correctional staff, mental health, medical staff, facility administrators or by calling the grievance hotline number posted in their housing area.
Friends and Family of Inmates/Detainee
An inmate may feel more comfortable reporting sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment to someone other than a corrections deputy, and all individuals are legally bound to immediately report the information for further actions. Further action may include, but not be limited to: medical and mental treatment, segregation from the suspect, collection of evidence, criminal investigation, and other necessary procedures. Time is of the essence in reporting sexual abuse and sexual assault.
You can access the Rape/Domestic Abuse Program of North Platte (RDAP) to report any sexual assault. Click HERE to access their site.
In accordance with PREA, all investigations are assigned one of three possible determinations:
- Substantiated – an allegation which was investigated and determined to have occurred
- Unfounded – an allegation which was investigated and determined not to have occurred
- Unsubstantiated – an allegation which produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination of a substantiated or unfounded claim
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission developed recommended national standards for reducing prison rape.
Pursuant to standard 115.88 of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, (PREA), the Lincoln County Detention Center is required to:
- Aggregate incident based sexual abuse data annually from publicly and privately operated facilities.
- Use the data to assess and improve the effectiveness of its sexual abuse prevention, detection, and response policies, practices, and training by:
- Identifying problem areas;
- Tracking corrective action on an on-going basis; and
- Prepare an annual report of its findings
- Compare the current year’s data and corrective actions with those from the prior year’s and provide an assessment of the agency’s progress in addressing sexual abuse.
- Publish the annual report on the Lincoln County Detention Center website of its findings and corrective actions for each facility, as well as the agency as a whole.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Coordinator
The Lincoln County Detention Center has a designated PREA Compliance and Training Coordinator responsible for coordinating and developing procedures to identify, monitor, and track staff and offender sexual abuse, misconduct and harassment. The PREA coordinator also ensures compliance with department policy, applicable state or federal laws, and PREA standards. Finally, the coordinator records, collects and reports statistical data to the Department of Justice on an annual basis as required by PREA standards.
Sworn and Professional staff members who work with inmates/detainees shall participate in sexual abuse and assault prevention and intervention training during their initial orientation and annual training updates.
Lincoln County Detention Center Policies and Procedures
- Reporting of Sexual Abuse, Misconduct or Harassment
- Inmate Sexual Assault
- PREA Investigations
- Inmate Screening for Risk of Victimization and Abusiveness
- Responding to Sexual Assault
- PREA Training and Education
- PREA Inmate Handbook