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Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

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PREA Amendment Enacted Under Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016

Signed into law on December 16, 2016, the PREA amendment under the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016 includes a number of important changes to the PREA statute:

  • Exempts grant programs administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.
  • Requires governors to provide certain compliance information with their annual certification or assurance submission to DOJ.
  • Requires that the Attorney General make the final PREA audit reports for confinement facilities under the operational control of states' and territories' executive branch available on a website, and to update this website annually. This website can be found at
  • Upon request by the Attorney General, PREA auditor candidates and certified auditors seeking recertification are required to submit their fingerprints to the FBI for a criminal history records check.
  • Provides states submitting an assurance with two options:
    1. Use not less than 5% of impacted DOJ grant funds to work towards and achieve full compliance with the PREA Standards in future years; or
    2. Request that the Attorney General hold these funds in abeyance. 
  • Sunsets the abeyance option three years following the date of enactment and requires the following for the final disposition of funds held in abeyance:
    • States that select the abeyance option that are able to submit a certification within three years following enactment of the law will be able to reclaim the balance of funds held in abeyance to be used for the original purpose(s) of the impacted DOJ grant program(s). 
    • States that select the abeyance option that are unable to submit a certification in the 3-year period following enactment of the law that have audited at least 2/3 of facilities under the operational control of the executive branch will have the option to submit an assurance and receive the funds held in abeyance to be used solely for PREA compliance purposes. 
    • States that select the abeyance option and, within the 3-year period following enactment of the JFARA, are unable to certify full compliance or provide an assurance that at least 2/3 of applicable facilities have been audited will relinquish the balance held in abeyance for redistribution to other states to be used for the original purpose(s) of the impacted DOJ grant program(s).
  • Sunsets the assurance option six years following the date of enactment.
  • For two years following the assurance sunset, governors who have audited at least 90% of facilities covered by the certification/assurance may request that the Attorney General allow submission of an emergency assurance.

Additional information regarding the key provisions in the PREA amendment and DOJ’s implementation of the new requirements can be found here.

States, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior) are eligible to apply for this opportunity when open.

See More Funding

National PREA Resource Center
The National PREA Resource Center site highlights upcoming and archived webinars related to PREA efforts and activities. Also available is information about targeted training and technical assistance, BJA demonstration sites, and curricula. See the Training & Technical Assistance section of the National PREA Resource Center site to learn more about these activities.

Prosecution of Prison Rape Training Resources
The National District Attorneys Association's National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women (NCPVAW), in collaboration with the National Judicial College, has created two resources for prosecutors. The Prosecution of Prison Rape and the Prison Rape Elimination Act: A Model Curriculum for Prosecutors contains videos, a PowerPoint, and corresponding faculty manual to facilitate training on the prosecution of prison rape. The Prosecution of Prison Rape: The Prison Rape Elimination Act CD-ROM is designed to teach prosecutors how to prepare and prosecute prison rape cases. For more information, contact NCPVAW.

National Institute of Corrections Training
In accordance with the provisions of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) conducts training, technical assistance, and education programs for federal, state, and local authorities responsible for the prevention, investigation, and punishment of instances of prison rape. Grantees and nongrantees that are interested in learning more about NIC's training and technical assistance program should visit

Preventing and Addressing Sexual Abuse in Tribal Detention Facilities: A Policy Development Guide, NCJ 238224, Bureau of Justice Assistance and the American Probation and Parole Association,Carrie Abner, October 2011. This document seeks to provide guidance to administrators of tribal detention facilities on the key policy issues for the prevention, reduction, detection, and punishment of sexual abuse perpetrated on those under correctional supervision in Indian Country, including in jails, juvenile detention facilities, and police lock-ups.

Anti-Fraternization Policies and Their Utility in Preventing Staff Sexual Abuse in Custody, This case law digest details how courts across various jurisdictions have analyzed correctional employees’ challenges to anti-fraternization policies.

PREA: What You Need To Know (Inmate Education Facilitator's Guide), BJA-Sponsored, February 2014. This guide helps corrections officials as they conduct educational screenings of "PREA: What You Need to Know," a video which is designed to teach inmates about their right to be free from sexual abuse and harassment.

Preventing and Addressing Sexual Abuse in Tribal Detention Facilities: The Impact of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), BJA-Sponsored, January 2014. This training curriculum is designed to improve the capacity of tribal detention officers to adequately prevent and respond to incidents of sexual abuse within detention facilities in Indian Country.

National PREA Resource Center Fact Sheet, BJA-sponsored, May 2014. This fact sheet highlights the activities of the National Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Resource Center.

More BJA Publications

Where can I learn more about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the PREA Standards?  Answer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the PREA Certification Requirement and 5 percent Reduction  Answer

See More FAQs

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