After reviewing the intent and provisions of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), this Fact Sheet explains the role of the PREA auditor and the features of an effective PREA audit.
Through compliance with its provisions, the PREA intends to make confinement facilities free from sexual abuse and its threat. As part of this effort, the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape (Standards) established a PREA audit designed to assess compliance of correctional facilities with PREA provisions through written policies and procedures that are integral to a facility’s daily practices at all levels as stated in the PREA Notice of Final Rule. There are about 322 certified (by the U.S. Department of Justice) PREA auditors responsible for auditing correctional facilities for PREA compliance in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since the first 3-year audit cycle began on August 20, 2013, 6,095 completed audits have been reported by PREA auditors through the summer of 2021. Each year, PREA gives state and territorial governors and the mayor of the District of Columbia the option to submit to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) a certification that all confinement facilities under their control are in full compliance with the Standards or to issue an assurance that they will use not less than 5 percent of certain DOJ grant funds to achieve full compliance with the Standards in the future. The features of a high quality, objective, comprehensive, and reliable PREA audit are outlined in this Fact Sheet, along with essential resources for PREA auditors.