Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
In September 2003, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The purpose of the act is to establish a zero-tolerance standard regarding sexual abuse and sexual harassment of offenders within a correctional setting. PREA applies to all federal, state and local prisons, jails, lockups, private institutions and community residential facilities. PREA addresses all types of sexual misconduct in which an offender is the victim, including abuse by fellow offenders as well as sexual misconduct committed by staff.
Sexual abuse and sexual harassment in correctional institutions affects offenders, staff and even the public.
The act established a national panel to develop a set of national standards and required the U.S. Attorney General to review and publish a final set of PREA Standards.
SDDOC PREA Policy
The South Dakota Department of Corrections (SDDOC) has enacted policies to establish a zero-tolerance of sexual abuse and sexual harassment in all of its facilities and to ensure that all allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are referred for investigation.
You can view the following policies by visiting the DOC Policies page on our website and search for:
1.3.E.5 Compliance with PREA Standards
1.3.E.6 Response and Investigation of Sexual Abuse and Harassment
1.4.B.16 PREA Institutional Risk Screens
1.1.C. 13 Screening of Staff, Volunteers and Contractors for Prior Sexual Abuse
1.3.E.2 Administrative Remedy for Inmates
SDDOC PREA Coordinators
The SDDOC has a designated PREA Coordinator. That person is charged with development, implementation, and oversight of the efforts to comply with the PREA standards in all SDDOC facilities. The PREA Coordinator is responsible for overseeing efforts to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment at the South Dakota State Penitentiary and Jameson Annex in Sioux Falls, the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, the Women's Prison in Pierre and minimum-security units in Pierre, Rapid City and Yankton. They also oversee efforts to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment with all contract facilities in which the SDDOC places juvenile offenders.
The primary responsibilities of the PREA Coordinator is to:
- Monitor agency efforts to eliminate the occurrence of sexual abuse and sexual harassment in correctional facilities;
- Review agency policies and procedures to ensure they are in compliance with federal and state laws and PREA standards;
- Respond to public inquiries related to allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment in DOC correctional facilities or contracted facilities; and
- Report all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, including third-party and anonymous reports, to the designated investigators at each facility.
In addition to the PREA Coordinator, every facility has an on-site PREA Compliance Manager.
Reporting Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment
All offenders have the right to be free of abuse while in a SDDOC facility. The SDDOC will cooperate in the criminal investigation conducted by the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and prosecution of anyone involved in a sexual abuse of an offender in a SDDOC facility or placement. Due to the serious nature of sexual abuse, anyone knowledgeable of an offender-on-offender or staff-on-offender sexual abuse that occurs within a SDDOC correctional facility is encouraged to immediately report the allegation so that action can be taken to ensure their safety. The SDDOC will respond to all reports and steps will be taken to protect the victim.
Although not mandatory, it is preferable that inquiries be submitted in writing. In the event of eminent harm, phone numbers are provided for immediate action.
When an alleged criminal act is committed against a juvenile in any juvenile institution, the allegation is reported to both the Department of Social Services as a report of Abuse and Neglect and to the DCI to begin a criminal investigation.
In adult institutions, the Office of Special Security investigates each and every allegation of sexual abuse or harassment. They will collaborate with DCI to determine when the case will be turned over for further DCI investigation and/or referral for prosecution. The identity of anyone making a report will remain confidential. All reports are investigated thoroughly and taken very seriously. The sharing of information pertaining to the alleged sexual abuse and identity of the victim will be limited to those who must know. Sharing information regarding the victim and/or incident shall be conducted in a manner that is in accordance with all applicable policies, state statutes, and professional licensure and ethics standards.
To report an incident of sexual abuse or harassment of an inmate or juvenile offender, the public may use the following contact information:
PO Box 5911
Sioux Falls, SD 57117
To review the reporting procedures for SD DOC adult facilities, see the brochures listed below:
SDDOC Annual Review of PREA Effectiveness
SDDOC PREA Audit Results