The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards apply to confinement facilities nationwide, providing one of the best mechanisms to build a culture of safety, dignity, and accountability behind bars. The challenge today involves helping thousands of prisons, jails, and juvenile lock-ups across the country comply with the standards.
To do that, Vera partners with the National PREA Resource Center and also runs independent projects. Recent work focuses on the use of sexual assault response teams and on youth facilities, where rates of violence can be especially high. Nationwide, nearly 10 percent of young people are sexually abused within the first year of being detained, and in some juvenile facilities the prevalence rates reach 36 percent.
Partnering with Community Sexual Assault Response Teams
A Guide for Local Community Confinement and Juvenile Detention Facilities
Community-based sexual assault response teams, or SARTs, are considered a best practice for addressing the needs of victims and holding perpetrators accountable. The federal standards for implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) require correctional facilities to develop a coordinated, victim-centered response to sexual assault so that v...
National PREA Resource Center
Assistance to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement
The National PREA Resource Center provides assistance to those responsible for state and local adult prisons and jails, juvenile facilities, community corrections, lockups, tribal organizations, and inmates and their families in their efforts to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement.
Sexual Assault Response Teams in Corrections Project
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) worked with the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) on a multi-year pilot project to help the adult residential and juvenile detention facilities of the Johnson County Department of Corrections (DOC) in Kansas partner with their county sexual assault response team (SART). Vera document...
Making PREA and Victim Services Accessible for Incarcerated People with Disabilities
An Implementation Guide for Practitioners on the Adult and Juvenile Standards
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) established a federal commission to draft national standards that address sexual abuse in confinement settings. PREA also required the U.S. Attorney General to promulgate regulations based on the standards that apply to all federal, state, and local confinement settings, including juvenile detention, l...
The Sexual Assault Forensic Protocol Project
Responding to sexual assault in a correctional facility requires great skill, coordination, and sensitivity, as well as an understanding of the unique challenges presented by a confined setting. In its 2009 national standards and final report, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission called on correctional facilities to develop a sexual assa...
National PREA Resource Center
Vera is working with the National PREA Resource Center (PRC) to provide tools and information to the corrections field on how to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual assault in confinement settings.
Keeping Vulnerable Populations Safe under PREA
Alternative Strategies to the Use of Segregation in Prisons and Jails
Incarcerated people at risk for sexual victimization need to be housed safely without losing access to programming, mental and medical health services, and group activities. The National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape emphasize that isolation be used to protect at-risk populations only when no other alternatives are availa...
Orleans Parish Prison
Why Smaller Means Safer
A jail cell covered in blood after an inmate-on-inmate assault. Unsupervised inmates playing with a handgun and injecting themselves with drugs. An inmate’s suicide caught on surveillance video that no deputy was watching. These are the images and stories captured in an hour-long public television documentary that examines the violence and troublin...
Implications of the Affordable Care Act for the Criminal Justice System
Steve Rosenberg, president of Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS), talks with David Cloud of Vera's Substance Use and Mental Health program about the opportunities under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to improve access to healthcare services for criminal justice-involved populations, as a way to improve both public health and pub...
Establishing a Zero-Tolerance Culture for Sexual Assault in Juvenile Corrections
Vera is supporting the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) in their efforts to establish a zero-tolerance culture for sexual assault in their juvenile correctional facilities by (1) assessing current sexual abuse incident rates; and (2) providing training and technical assistance to strengthen the social norms of youth and staff in order to att...
Casting light on sexual abuse of children with disabilities and Deaf people
Despite the alarmingly high rates of violence people with disabilities and Deaf people experience in our country, the issue remains a hidden problem that rarely gets the attention it deserves. On March 27, Vera hosted a congressional staff briefing that provided an opportunity to raise the awareness of government officials and Hill staffers around ...
Pledging to end violence against people with disabilities
Bridging the Gap—the Center on Victimization and Safety’s second national conference on sexual and domestic violence against people with disabilities—was a resounding success. Close to 300 people from diverse backgrounds from around the country attended the gathering in Louisville Kentucky on October 31 – November 1. Advocates, first responders, po...