The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed unanimously by both parties in Congress in 2003. The purpose of the act is to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in federal, state, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003.)
The act also created the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and charged it with drafting standards for eliminating prison rape. Those standards were published in June 2009 and turned over to the Department of Justice for review and passage as a final rule. The Department of Justice published the final PREA Standards in the Federal Register on June 20, 2012, and they became effective August 20, 2012.
During my tenure with the Pennsylvania State Police I was assigned to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections on the implementation of the PREA Standards specifically from an investigation perspective. In November of 2014 I became a Certified DOJ PREA Auditor for Adult Correctional Facilities. Since January of 2015 I have been conducting PREA Audits for both Governmental and Private Agencies. Some of my clients are the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Oklahoma Department of Corrections, New Hampshire Department of Corrections, Firetree LTD, and Gaudenzia Inc.
I pride myself on my knowledge of the PREA Standards but more importantly their application to the specific facilities I am auditing. Each facility operates differently, which must be taken into consideration when reviewing the daily operations, policies, procedures, etc. I strictly follow the guidance from the PREA Resource Center and the PREA Auditor Handbook during the process. I also look at every audit as a learning experience not only for the facility but myself. I always take away something from each audit and look for best practices to share with other facilities.
I have developed a PREA Investigators Training Course which fulfills all requirements of the standards. This training course has been provided at both the State and Local levels.