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Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)



Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)



The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law in 2003. One of PREA's requirements was the development of national standards to address sexual abuse and harassment in detention facilities. Finalized in 2012 by the Department of Justice, the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape are binding on prisons, jails, youth detention facilities, police lockups and community corrections facilities. In accordance with the standards and LASD's mission, LASD has "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse and sexual harassment in all of its facilities.



How Does PREA Apply to LASD Facilities?



The PREA standards aim to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment in detention facilities. PREA covers sexual abuse of inmates by other inmates or by staff, volunteers, and contractors. Under PREA and California state law, inmates can never consent to sexual activity with staff members; any sexual contact with inmates by staff members, volunteers, or contractors is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a crime that can lead to serious, long-term physical and mental health problems. Sexual abuse and sexual harassment also make jails less safe for all inmates and staff.



LASD is committed to public safety, and that includes inside its detention facilities. To that end, LASD has adopted policies around the provisions for sexual safety in its jails, lockups, courts, and inmate reception centers. LASD follows the PREA standards to provide a sexually safe environment by:

Carefully considering a person's safety when determining housing

Training staff on their role and ensure that all staff know they are responsible for preventing and responding to sexual abuse and sexual harassment

Educating inmates about how to report sexual abuse or harassment, how to get help, and their right to be safe inside LASD facilities

Responding to and investigate every allegation of sexual abuse or sexual harassment

Referring inmates who have been sexually abused to its partners, including mental and medical care, and rape crisis centers

Publishing annual reports, available to the public, that include numbers of allegations of sexual abuse received inside LASD facilities and the outcomes of investigations (coming soon)



How to Report Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment



Reports of sexual abuse and sexual harassment can be made by inmates, friends or family of inmates, attorneys, community members, or anyone who suspects or witnesses sexual abuse or sexual harassment. Abuse and harassment may be reported in the following ways:



Inmates or members of the public can report sexual abuse or sexual harassment to any LASD staff member, contractor, or volunteer. Due to the serious nature of sexual assaults, a staff member who has knowledge of any inmate-on-inmate or staff-on-inmate sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurs within a LASD facility must immediately report the allegation to the unit administration in accordance with Department policies. The duty to report applies to custody staff, teachers, facility administrators, chaplains - basically any person who works inside a facility.

Inmates, their family members, or members of the public can call Crime Stoppers. Inmates can call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers free of charge by dialing *21 from inside of a jail. These calls are not recorded or monitored. Anyone outside of a jail can call free of charge at (800) 222-8477 or send an email to info@lacrimestoppers.org.

Inmates may request to see medical or mental health staff. All medical and mental health staff are required to report allegations of sexual abuse and harassment to ensure that inmates who report receive the care they need.

Inmates can complete a written grievance form.

Inmates or members of the public can contact the LASD PREA Coordinator by emailing prea-coordinator@lasd.org.





Once a Report is Made:



LASD will investigate every allegation of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

Inmates and staff, contractors, and volunteers who report sexual abuse and sexual harassment will be protected from retaliation for reporting.

LASD is committed to holding all perpetrators, whether staff, contractors, volunteers, or inmates, accountable for sexual abuse or sexual harassment.

Inmates who report sexual abuse will receive prompt medical and mental health care, and access to rape crisis centers. Inmates can call a rape crisis center for free by dialing *25 or *26 from inside of a jail. Anyone outside of a jail can call free of charge either Peace Over Violence (213) 955-9090 or Strength United (818) 787-9700.

If inmates or their family or friends have questions or concerns after a report is made, they can contact LASD at prea-coordinator@lasd.org.












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