By Dianne Beer-Maxwell, Guest Blogger; and Program Manager, Elimination of Sexual Assault in Confinement Initiative, IACP
The U.S. Department of Justice recently released standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) designed to detect, prevent, reduce, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement, including specific standards for any law enforcement agency operating a lockup.
Compliance with the PREA standards is not mandatory for local law enforcement; these standards do not present any new source of civil liability, but they do bring new focus to the existing duty of agencies to protect detainees. Agencies with lockups may want to strive to demonstrate an effort to comply on a meaningful level with these minimum standards of care to help limit the risk of civil liability. The IACP’s goal is to ensure all agencies are informed about the PREA standards so they can act accordingly.
In order to best meet law enforcement needs, the IACP Elimination of Sexual Assault in Confinement Initiative is conducting a nationwide needs assessment survey of all local law enforcement leaders about PREA. The survey can be completed in 15 minutes and is available online. A PDF of the survey is also available.
Learn more about the IACP Elimination of Sexual Abuse in Confinement Initiative, a partnership between IACP and the National PREA Resource Center, by visiting our webpage. If you have questions or would like additional information about PREA, contact Dianne Beer-Maxwell.