Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Compliance
To eliminate sexual abuse of individuals confined in detention facilities, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law in 2003. PREA bars cross-gender strip searches, mandates that inmates are provided a way to report sexual abuse to an outside independent entity, and requires facilities to pass a PREA compliance audit every three years.
With nearly 15% of public comments at commission meetings being PREA-related, the Commission determined that action must be taken. In July 2017, the Commission encouraged the Sheriff to adopt PREA regulations and report on compliance. On November 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors directed the creation of PREA Compliance Units to prevent sexual assault and rape in the L.A. County jail system. On December 6, 2017, key personnel from the Commission, Office of the Inspector General and the Sheriff’s Department discussed the status of the development of a strategic plan for PREA compliance, including a grievance complaint procedure for inmates that effectively and safely allows for reporting of incidents.
On May 29, 2018, the Board ordered County Counsel to coordinate and lead a PREA Compliance Implementation Team to identify the steps required to achieve compliance. The PREA ad hoc committee meets with the PREA Implementation and Compliance Team on a monthly basis to collaborate. County Counsel and the Sheriff’s Department are scheduled to provide a status report to the Commission in mid-2019.