Securing Equal JusticeReaching All Victims

Incarcerated Youth and Adults

For years, incarcerated people were subject to sexual abuse with little recourse. Today, the Prison Rape Elimination Act Standards set an important baseline for how facilities should treat victims of sexual abuse. Work to help implement the standards in facilities nationwide and promote other practices that benefit incarcerated victims of sexual violence includes: 

  • Helping the Department of Corrections in Johnson County, Kansas, bring their local sexual assault response team (SART) into adult and juvenile facilities. This gives incarcerated victims of sexual abuse access to the same high quality services available in the community, and is a model of what’s possible nationally. 
  • Publishing a guide for correctional agencies on how to implement PREA standards that relate specifically to protecting and serving incarcerated people with disabilities.

Related Work

Lifting of Funding Restrictions Paves the Way for Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Abuse to Access Victim Services

On December 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) published a summary of changes to the rules governing how victim service agencies can use Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) assistance funds. The rule changes, which went into effect in August 2016, dramatically expand the ways states and territories can use funds to ...

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  • Allison Hastings
    Allison Hastings
January 13, 2017
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Series: Gender and Justice in America

Mass Incarceration and its Impact Are Devastating to Women

9to5, National Association of Working Women—of which I am the Georgia chapter director—understands the devastating impact mass incarceration has on women. The rate of growth for female imprisonment has outpaced men by more than 50 percent between 1980 and 2014. Now there are more than 1 million women behind bars or under some form of correctional ...

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  • Charmaine  Davis
    Charmaine Davis
August 15, 2016
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Partnering with Community Sexual Assault Response Teams

A Guide for Local Community Confinement and Juvenile Detention Facilities

Community-based sexual assault response teams, or SARTs, are considered a best practice for addressing the needs of victims and holding perpetrators accountable. The federal standards for implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) require correctional facilities to develop a coordinated, victim-centered response to sexual assault so that v ...

  • Allison Hastings, Ram Subramanian, Kristin Littel
March 22, 2016

Series: Addressing the Overuse of Segregation in U.S. Prisons and Jails

New blog series addressing the overuse of segregation in U.S. prisons and jails

 Segregation, also referred to as solitary confinement or restricted housing, is a practice widely used in U.S. prisons and jails. The number of people held in segregated housing is estimated to be as high as 80,000 to 100,000.  There is increasing evidence that such solitary confinement produces unwanted and harmful outcomes—for the m ...

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  • Sara Sullivan
    Sara Sullivan
  • Elena  Vanko
    Elena Vanko
December 02, 2015
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Making PREA and Victim Services Accessible for Incarcerated People with Disabilities

An Implementation Guide for Practitioners on the Adult and Juvenile Standards

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) established a federal commission to draft national standards that address sexual abuse in confinement settings. PREA also required the U.S. Attorney General to promulgate regulations based on the standards that apply to all federal, state, and local confinement settings, including juvenile detention, l ...

  • Sandra Harrell, Allison Hastings, Margaret diZerega
October 05, 2015