The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)


Background: The issue of sexual abuse and assault in prisons increasingly gained public attention for the last decade of the 20th Century, leading to the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The passage and implementation of this act was not without controversy and disagreement from a wide variety of stakeholders. The basic dynamic that no one wants sexual assaults and rapes in prisons is not the center of the controversy. Instead, there were other political and budgetary issues that plagued its passage and implementation. All correctional administrators must address the implementation of this policy, including juvenile, jail and prison facilities. The issue is such a major concern for management that further study of this important criminal justice issue is the impetus for this research essay examination involving policy and budgeting.

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Assignment: The objective of this assignment is to research the underpinnings and passage of PREA and insure that the following issues are discussed in detail:

  • The proper name of this act, the effective date, and the legislative body that passed this act.
  • The initial co-sponsors of this act.
  • The name of the commission created to oversee this act, the number of members on the commission, who appoints the membership of this commission, and the eligibility requirements for membership to the commission.
  • Discuss the issues and conditions (historical background) that supported the passage of this act.
  • Is this an act that applies to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, or does it apply to other agencies as well? (county, city, state, etc.)
  • Does it apply to juvenile, detention (jails) or adult facilities (prisons)?
  • Discuss the significant reporting aspects of this act.
  • Identify the stakeholders that were involved in the discussion of the merits of this act.
  • Identify who was responsible for the final approval and implementation of this act.
  • Discuss the arguments presented against passage for this act.
  • Discuss the audit process for this act. Who is responsible for training and certifying auditors?

One of the purposes of this assignment is to develop the student’s ability to do graduate level research on this topic. The essay must be a minimum of five complete pages of text. In addition to the 3 peer reviewed, academic or refereed journals that are required in response to this question, students may additionally use resources (studies, statistics, etc.) from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs, the Bureau of Justice Statistics the National Institute of Corrections and the PREA Resource Center Organization for applicable studies and data. You may not use an abstract or any subheadings in your essay. The title page and the reference page(s) do not apply to this minimum requirement. This is an exercise in academic research, graduate level thinking and academic writing ability.

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