Incarcerated Youth and Adults
For years, incarcerated people were subject to sexual abuse with little recourse. Today, the Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards set an important baseline for how facilities should treat victims of sexual abuse. Work to help implement the standards in facilities nationwide and promote other practices that benefit incarcerated victims of sexual violence includes:
- Helping the Department of Corrections in Johnson County, Kansas, bring their local sexual assault response team (SART) into adult and juvenile facilities. This gives incarcerated victims of sexual abuse access to the same high quality services available in the community, and is a model of what’s possible nationally.
- Publishing a guide for correctional agencies on how to implement PREA standards that relate specifically to protecting and serving incarcerated people with disabilities.
Lifting of Funding Restrictions Paves the Way for Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Abuse to Access Victim Services
On December 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) published a summary of changes to the rules governing how victim service agencies can use Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance funds. The rule changes, which went into effect in August 2016, dramatically expand the ways states and territories can use funds to...
Series: Gender and Justice in America
Mass incarceration and its impact are devastating to women
9to5, National Association of Working Women—of which I am the Georgia chapter director—understands the devastating impact mass incarceration has on women. The rate of growth for female imprisonment has outpaced men by more than 50 percent between 1980 and 2014. Now there are more than 1 million women behind bars or under some form of correctional...
Focusing on youth and families in the juvenile justice system
Justice for Families (J4F) is a national alliance of local organizations committed to ending the “youth incarceration epidemic.” It was founded and is run by parents and families who have experienced the juvenile justice system with their children. We sat down with co-founder and executive director Grace Bauer-Lubow and associate director Tracey We...
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.
Series: Addressing the Overuse of Segregation in U.S. Prisons and Jails
New blog series addressing the overuse of segregation in U.S. prisons and jails
Segregation, also referred to as solitary confinement or restricted housing, is a practice widely used in U.S. prisons and jails. The number of people held in segregated housing is estimated to be as high as 80,000 to 100,000. There is increasing evidence that such solitary confinement produces unwanted and harmful outcomes—for the m...
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...
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.
Reducing youth confinement key to proposed JJDPA reauthorization
Considered the single most important piece of federal legislation regarding youth in the juvenile justice system since it was enacted in 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) plays a crucial role in addressing the needs of system-involved youth. It also ensures that the judicial process focuses on rehabilitation and stab...