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NIJ's Response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2006
2 pages
This report summarizes the research supported by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003.
PREA establishes a zero tolerance level for sexual assault in prisons and calls for: (1) the development of national standards for the prevention, detection, and reduction of sexual violence in prisons; (2) the dissemination of data and information about sexual violence to correctional administrators; and (3) increased accountability for inmate safety. As the research, development, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, NIJ has an important role in fulfilling the goals of PREA. The report details a NIJ-funded national anthropological study into the social and sexual climate of prisons, which is being conducted by Dr. Mark Fleisher using anonymous and confidential interviews with male and female inmates across the country. The completed research will include the views of 400 male and 200 female inmates regarding the role of sex in prison culture. NIJ has solicited research on a number of related topics, including sexual assault prevention, risk assessment, and the medical and psychological impact of prison rape. Four research grants have already been awarded by NIJ for research in the areas of prevention and risk assessment. NIJ has also produced a comprehensive literature review of research on prison sexual violence since 1968. Finally, the importance of protecting vulnerable human subjects of research studies, such as inmates, is discussed. References

Date Published: February 1, 2006