The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA, PL 108-79) was passed in 2003 for the purpose of eliminating sexual abuse in confinement. The final federal Department of Justice (DOJ) PREA standards for adult facilities became effective in August 2013 and juvenile facilities in early 2014. The standards require that in order to be in compliance jurisdictions must have at least one third of their facilities audited within the subsequent 12-month period ending August 20, 2014. States who declare facilities to be non-compliant are at risk of losing a percentage of their DOJ grant funds.
ESI is among a limited number of formally trained and certified Department of Justice (DOJ) PREA auditors in the nation. ESI has rich experience with both adult and juvenile correctional facilities, including work with the state of Oregon, which served as the national pilot site for the juvenile PREA standard tools.
Assuring PREA compliance requires a series of steps that includes a pre-audit phase and an onsite review. The audit process involves thorough review of all policies and procedures conducted by a qualified policy analyst. Once the policy and procedures review is completed, an on-site audit is scheduled. During the on-site PREA audit process, a comprehensive protocol is followed which includes interviewing staff and offenders at the correctional facility. ESI professionals have extensive experience and are skilled at conducting interviews in a non-threatening manner, allowing them to gather important audit information and minimizing stress for participants.
Upon completing a PREA audit, you can expect ESI consultants to deliver a comprehensive yet easy to understand audit report summarizing facility strengths and highlighting areas of non-compliance. In a follow-up formal debriefing session with agency and facility leadership, ESI will present the audit results and answer any questions.
The DOJ PREA standards require formal corrective action plans for standard areas identified as non-compliant. ESI is ready to assist correctional institutions in developing detailed plans to implement the audit recommendations in a realistic timeframe. ESI can provide a range of post-audit services to drive progress towards standard compliance. Support can range from monthly follow-up consulting calls to more intensive, on-site technical assistance and coaching, depending on your agency needs.