Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted in 2003, was created to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. In addition to providing federal funding for research, programs, training, and technical assistance to address the issue, the legislation mandated the development of national standards. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission developed recommended national standards for reducing prison rape.
Franklin County PREA Policies
In order to promote a safe and humane setting for the confinement of pre-trial detainees as well as convicted offenders, the Franklin County Jail maintains a "zero tolerance policy" regarding the sexual abuse of inmates, staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct, and inmate-on-inmate sexual misconduct. The Franklin County Jail maintains a program of:
Sexual assault among inmates and staff sexual misconduct towards inmates is strictly prohibited and subject to administrative and criminal disciplinary sanctions. All allegations, regardless of source, will be investigated. Staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct will be governed by the Code of Virginia Section 18.2-642, which includes contract and volunteer personnel. The appropriate sections of the Code of Virginia will govern inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse based upon the advice of the Commonwealth's Attorney and the investigating police authority.
What Constitutes Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is illegal and will not be tolerated in any manner at the Franklin County Jail. Sexual misconduct includes:
- Inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse, assault, or consensual sexual activity
- Staff-on-inmate sexual abuse, assault, or consensual sexual activity
Sexual misconduct also includes any solicitation of sexual activity. All allegations are fully investigated, and substantiated incidents are reported to the local police for further investigation and referral for prosecution if warranted.
Sexual abuse can be reported to any staff member at any time, either verbally or in writing. The staff will take actions to protect inmates from the assailant and refer them to medical for further treatment and counseling.