Navigate Up
Probation Department Menu +

What is the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)?

Last modified: 5/24/2016 10:23 AM
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from  both parties in the US Congress.  The purpose of the act was to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.”  (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003).  The Act also created the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and charged it with developing draft standards for the elimination of prison rape.  Those standards were published in June 2009, and were turned over to the Department of Justice for review and passage as a final rule.   That final rule became effective August 20, 2012.  In essence, PREA established national standards to support the reduction, prevention and elimination of sexual abuse within correction systems, including juvenile facilities.  The National PREA Resource Center has a copy of the standards as well as numerous resources regarding PREA implementation.
Within the context of PREA, prison is defined as “any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities and state and federal prisons.
It is the mission of the Santa Clara County Probation Department to provide healthy, safe and secure custodial care for juveniles in its facilities and programs.  Consistent with this mission, and in compliance with PREA, the Department has a zero tolerance policy for sexual abuse, sexual harassment and staff sexual misconduct.  Zero tolerance means by policy and practice, the Santa Clara County Probation Department will not tolerate sexual abuse of any kind of juveniles in its facilities, whether it is juvenile on juvenile sexual abuse or staff on juvenile sexual abuse.  This also means  any form of sexual activity between staff, contractors, volunteers, interns, etc and juveniles, and between juvenile and juvenile regardless of consensual status is prohibited and subject to administrative and criminal disciplinary sanctions.
All employees, contractors, juveniles, volunteers and interns, etc are expected to have a clear understanding that the Santa Clara County Probation Department strictly prohibits any type of sexual relationship with an individual under the Department’s supervision, and considers such a relationship a serious breach of the standards of employee conduct and contract compliance, and these relationships will not be tolerated.  All new contracts, amended contracts or contracts renewed shall include the contracting entity’s obligation to adopt and comply with the PREA standards for any confinement services provided on behalf of the Probation Department.  Contracted providers will be subject to PREA audits, including contract monitoring, to ensure compliance with PREA standards.
The Department has designated a PREA Coordinator responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of its efforts to comply with the PREA standards.  The Department has also designated a PREA Compliance Manager for each of its facilities at Juvenile Hall and the Ranch program.
The Santa Clara County Probation Department will respond to, investigate the merits of all allegations of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, provide appropriate medical and mental health treatment, protect alleged victims and other youth from retaliation and future abuse, and support the prosecution of sexual abuse within its facilities.
The Department’s response to allegations of sexual abuse shall be guided by the following goals:
Protection of victims from further abuse, retaliation, or intimidation;
Provision of emergency medical treatment and crisis intervention services to victims of abuse;
Preservation of the integrity of criminal and personnel investigations;
Protection of staff  against false accusations of abuse through fair, thorough, accurate and impartial investigations;
Support for victims so that reporting of sexual abuse is not deterred; and
A fair and just resolution of allegations.
Through continual education of staff and custodial youths, the Department will increase awareness of safe reporting mechanisms and available services to victims, thereby creating an institutional culture that discourages sexual abuse.
It shall be the policy of the Probation Department to maintain and promote facilities that provide the highest quality of services to victims of sexual abuse regardless of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  LGBTI youth confined at both facilities shall receive fair and equal treatment, without bias and in a professional and confidential manner based on principles of sound professional practices.
The Department will provide multiple internal mechanisms for youths in custody to report easily, privately and securely sexual abuse, sexual harassment, staff sexual misconduct, neglect, retaliation or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident of sexual abuse.
All Department institution staff as well as contractors, volunteers, interns, etc must understand their responsibility in the prevention, detection and reporting of all incidents of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and  sexual misconduct.  Trained staff will help prevent incidents of sexual abuse by following policy, procedures and guidelines during the performance of their duties; ensure the timely reporting of incidents when they occur, and assist in providing immediate treatment for victims, including those  who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, as well as, those who have intellectual, psychiatric or speech disabilities.
Through objective screening, assessment and classification, the Department will identify opportunities for placement of youths in housing, programming, education, and work assignments by separating and carefully monitoring both sexually aggressive and vulnerable clients to reduce the incidence of sexual abuse.
The Department requires that all residential programs contracting with this department are committed to the elimination of sexual abuse in their programs by adopting policies and procedures consistent with this department policy.
To ensure continuous quality improvement in policies, procedures and practices toward a zero tolerance standard, the Department will collect data, review all sexual abuse incidents, facilitate identification of causal factors and pursue corrective action.
If you suspect sexual abuse has happened to any youth at Juvenile Hall or at the James Ranch, you can call any of the numbers listed below to report:
The Sheriff’s Office, San Jose
PREA Coordinator, Juvenile Hall
PREA Compliance Manager, Juvenile Hall
PREA Compliance Manager, James Ranch
Probation Department, Internal Affairs Unit
(408) 808-4400
(408) 278-5854
(408) 278-5853
(408) 201-7674
(408) 435-2150
You may also complete the following PREA Third Party Reporting form to report alleged sexual abuse and sexual harassment and mail it to:
Santa Clara County Probation Department
Internal Affairs
2314 North First Street
San Jose, CA. 95131
The PREA Coordinator
Santa Clara County Probation Department
Juvenile Division – Institution Services
840 Guadalupe Parkway, San Jose CA. 95110
All PREA-related questions should be directed to the Santa Clara County Probation Department PREA Coordinator at (408) 278-5854
PREA- Related Links
Other PREA Materials and Resource: