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Eliminating sexual abuse in confinement

Impact Justice affirms the humanity of people who are incarcerated by working to end sexual abuse in confinement.

Our work is devoted to vigorously promoting the sexual safety of all people confined in prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, community confinement facilities, and lockups. By increasing facilities’ capacity for prevention, detection, monitoring, responses to incidents, and services to victims and their families, we work to advance the fundamental human right of sexual safety in confinement.

Changing the culture of confinement in ways that protect people and reflect their inherent dignity and rights as human beings requires ongoing work and commitment. We partner with agencies and systems and with advocates and other organizations to support implementation of the PREA standards, providing the training, technical assistance and support for audits that are necessary to ensure the standards are real in practice and make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.

PREA Resource Center

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Resource Center is funded through a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Impact Justice.

The PREA Resource Center (PRC) provides assistance to state and local agencies as they grapple with the challenges of ensuring sexual safety in their facilities and as they work to implement the Department of Justice’s national PREA Standards. This assistance includes robust training and technical assistance, such as opportunities for support from experts who can review policies and coach leadership through the changes necessary to create sexually safe environments. 

On its federally sponsored website, the PRC maintains an extensive library of publicly available resources, including training curricula, to address common challenges in the field and support agencies seeking to comply with the PREA standards. PRC experts and partner organizations also provide coaching to jurisdictions that receive federal PREA grants. The PRC supports the DOJ PREA audit function by assisting with the training and ongoing support of PREA auditors around the country, and assisting DOJ with its auditor oversight activities. Finally, PRC staff also maintain the Online Audit System through which audits are conducted.

PREA Targeted Implementation Planning and Support

The PREA Targeted Implementation Planning and Support (PREA TIPS) Program assists locally operated small and medium jails, juvenile facilities, community confinement facilities, lockups, and tribal facilities in PREA implementation. Sites receive grants, coaching and technical assistance to achieve their PREA implementation goals.

What We’re Doing

Changing Attitudes & Perceptions

Sexual abuse should never be part of any punishment, and yet it happens in confinement facilities across the country. Promoting sexual safety begins with changing attitudes and perceptions among both staff and incarcerated people. The PRC works to affirm sexual safety as a fundamental human right, educates people about the profound repercussions of abuse and fear of abuse, and most importantly, helps people understand and embrace their own responsibility and capacity to help prevent abuse.

Implementing Policy Change

The PRC assists state, local, and tribal agencies with implementation of the National PREA Standards, which represent sweeping policy change in the treatment and safety of people in prisons, jails, juvenile and community confinement facilities, and lockups. The TIPS (Targeted Implementation Planning and Support) program in particular provides critical support to local facilities in these efforts.

Advancing Practice

The PRC helps confinement agencies to put the PREA standards into practice by creating reporting cultures, training staff, educating people who are confined, providing meaningful support to victims, and undertaking comprehensive, practice-based audits.

PRC is curating and seeding important work to eliminate sexual abuse in custodial settings. They sweat the details and take seriously the goal of eliminating prison rape.

– Professor Brenda V. Smith, American University – Washington College of Law and Director, Project on Addressing Prison Rape

The PRC is the base that supports the successful fight against sexual abuse and sexual harassment in our prisons, jails, and community confinement centers. We can’t win without it.

– David Haasenritter, DOJ Certified PREA Auditor and Regional Manager, Compliance Accreditation Managers Association (CAMA)

Working with the PRC has strengthened my advocacy for transgender and non-binary people. With the knowledge I received from the PRC, I am able to meaningfully impact and save lives.

– Zahara Green, Co-Founder/Executive Director, TRANScending Barriers


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