Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008


Criminal Law Brief

First Page


Last Page



In September 2003, the United States Congress unanimously passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The Act was the culmination of a collaborative effort between human rights, faith-based, and prison rape advocacy. The aim of the Act is to create zero tolerance for prison rape by using a variety of tools or mechanisms including data collection; grants to the states; technical assistance to the states to improve their practices; research; the development of national standards; and the diminution of federal criminal justice assistance to states who fail to comply with the standards. This article aims to provide a brief background of the Act and the important political forces that shaped its passing, the current status on implementation of the Act, including progress made with each of the tools, and a prediction about issues that will arise in the enactment and implementation of the standards required by PREA.



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