Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

In September of 2003, President Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

PREA seeks to insure that people in the custody of US correctional agencies are protected from sexual assault, sexual harassment, "consensual sex" with employees, and inmate to inmate sexual assault. This Act applies nationally to all Federal, State, and local institutions including; prisons, jails, community corrections, and holding facilities whether public or private, juvenile or adult, and male or female. Additionally PREA applies to all inmates, detainees, and staff, including volunteers, contact employees, etc.

Sexual assaults affect security and staff safety, and pose a long-term risk to inmates and staff inside corrections, and to the public when victimized inmates are released into the community. Victimized inmates also pose an increased health risk to the community when released into the community due to higher risk of sexually transmitted disease in prisons.

Key Components of PREA:

  1. A 'Zero Tolerance' standard for the incidence of sexual assaults.

  2. Make Prevention of sexual assaults a top priority

  3. Develop and implement National Standards for detection, prevention, reduction and punishment.

  4. Standardize the Collection and Dissemination of information for better management practices.

  5. Award of Grants to help fund state and local governments implement PREA.

After the law was passed, the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC) started a review of state policies and procedures. South Dakota already had a state law on the books addressing 'Sexual Acts between Employees and Detainees' in addition to restrictions in DOC's Code of Ethics, but still needed a policy to specifically address inmate actions. On May 31st, 2006 Secretary of Corrections, Tim Reisch signed into policy 'Prevention of Offender Sexual Assault / Rape.

Also in 2006, the DOC applied for and received a PREA Grant - Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities. This grant provides matching funds for the DOC to address PREA concerns for inmates still incarcerated and those placed into the community.

The Goals of the Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Grant are:

  1. Protect all inmates from rape and sexual assault and respond when they do occur.

  2. Provide assistance to local government to prevent rape and sexual assaults in jails or juvenile detention centers.

  3. Protect communities from sexual aggressors when they are released from prison.

  4. Develop a grant monitoring and data collection process to ensure the goals are met.

To administer this grant, the DOC has hired a full time Program Manager and appointed a Grant Team of DOC staff with experience in Security, Classification, Policy and Programs.

A systemic approach by the DOC is being used to achieve the goals of the grant and PREA. Starting with a current review of DOC incident reporting, inmate classification, staff training, inmate education, inmate programs, and development of a new database for standardized reporting.

Additionally, through the grant the DOC is providing assistance to local law enforcement agencies. This assistance will be in the form of interdepartmental communication and reporting, staff training events, and funding for inmate community programs and treatment. The grant also provides for a sub-grant process in which local law enforcement can apply for matching funds for surveillance equipment upgrades or additions for their jails or detention facilities.



A Guide for Staff (PDF Format)

Inmate Sexual Awareness (PDF Format)

Juvenile Division (PDF Format)

MDSP (PDF Format)

Rapid City Minimum Unit (PDF Format)

Yankton Minimum Unit (PDF Format)

Detention and Jail Facility Survey/Sub-Grant Application Form(Microsoft Word Format) Print and fill out and send in to address included on form.