Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is a federal law established to support the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in correctional systems. PREA addresses both inmate-to-inmate sexual assault and staff-to-inmate sexual assault. The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office has Zero-Tolerance in support of the guidelines set forth in this law.
The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office implements its “Zero-Tolerance” policies through a facility-wide systematic process that begins when inmates are initially admitted into the facility.
- When inmates are initially admitted into our intake area their rights to be free from sexual abuse and harassment is explained in detail to them.
- An assessment is conducted on every inmate to determine their individual risk of victimization or predation using an objective measurement tool based on specific risk factors. This tool will determine housing and program assignments for each inmate.
- Inmates are exposed to reporting options through the inmate handbook, posters in living areas, dissemination on video screens and staff who are educated on PREA standards.
Inmates at the facility are housed in living units called housing pods. Each pod is grouped together in a pentagonal arrangement to create direct observation of all corridors to minimize blind-spots.
Video monitoring is utilized throughout the jail facility to enhance security and surveillance. Every year the Jail Administrator and the facility PREA Coordinator review video camera numbers and locations to ensure the safety of all staff and inmates.
When it comes to sexual activity within the jail facility, the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s policies and procedures are clear; All sexual activity is prohibited. Beyond this,
- forced or coerced sexual behavior is a criminal act that merits criminal prosecution.
- all sexual assault allegations are reported to the Chesterfield Police Department.
- an investigation is conducted to ensure the perpetrators face the full consequences of the law.
The Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office has an agreement with the Chesterfield County Police Department to ensure that all allegations of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated and referred for prosecution to the Chesterfield County Commonwealth Attorney.
In accordance with PREA, all investigations are assigned one of three possible determinations:
- Substantiated – an allegation which was investigated and determined to have occurred
- Unfounded – an allegation which was investigated and determined not to have occurred
- Unsubstantiated – an allegation which produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination of a substantiated or unfounded claim
- Complete the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Form
- Completa la Ley de Eliminación de las Violaciones en Prisiones