PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT (PREA)
Prison Rape Elimination Act Overview
The Rappahannock Regional Jail (RRJ) has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse and harassment and makes prevention a top priority. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 is a federal law that seeks to eliminate sexual abuse and harassment. This law applies to all federal and state prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities, juvenile facilities, and community correctional settings. The New standards were published in May 2012 and RRJ is currently enhancing its effort towards implementation of the standards. RRJ policies prohibit any form of sexual activity, including sexual harassment. Forced or coerced sexual behavior is a criminal offense and RRJ will take every action possible to hold perpetrators accountable, including prosecution resulting in additional time in prison. It is against the law for staff to engage in any type of sexual activity with an inmate. By law, an incarcerated person is unable to legally consent to sexual activity of any kind with a staff member. This type of activity is referred to as Staff Sexual Misconduct and is punishable up to and including loss of employment, civil suit, and/or imprisonment. Any reports of such incidents will be investigated thoroughly by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, and the employee will be held accountable if found guilty.
Inmates who are currently being sexually abused or harassed are encouraged to talk to a staff member. This will allow for the quickest response. Inmates receive information on how to report sexual abuse and harassment through inmate orientation, posters, handbooks, and ongoing communication. Inmates may report in person, through the PREA hotline number, or through the grievance system.
Additional Ways to Report