U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $600,000)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Program provides funding to state governments for demonstration projects within local adult and juvenile confinement settings, including jails and juvenile detention facilities, law enforcement lockups and other temporary holding facilities, and tribal detention facilities. Funding is awarded to states that successfully communicate a comprehensive approach to the prevention, detection, and response to the incidence of sexual abuse and clearly prioritize gaps which are as of yet unaddressed, either programmatically or through changes in policy and procedures, as it relates to implementation of the PREA standards. The goal of this program is to assist local adult and juvenile facilities in implementing prevention, identification, and response mechanisms that will reduce the incidence of sexual abuse in confinement facilities.

The District of Columbia (DC), Department of Corrections (DOC) with collaboration from key stakeholders and support from The Moss Group (TMG) has developed an approach to addressing sexual abuse and improving sexual safety in the District for the next 24 months. The team will work toward the following shared project mission and vision: create a leadership and organizational culture to zero-tolerance for sexual victimization and a strong reporting culture.

The goals include a policy and procedures review related to sexual assault, staffing issues, and physical plant limitations. Revision and implementation will then be accomplished through Sexual Safety Assessments (SSAs) conducted by TMG. Based upon the results of the assessment, the DC DOC will prioritize and implement operational goals to enhance systemic sexual safety with implementation planning and coaching support from TMG. Infrastructure and technology enhancements will be identified to address needs that are targeted for implementation in order to close gaps. Offender education and victim support services will also be identified through the assessment and targeted for change.

Due to the fact that the project itself represents a comprehensive approach to the prevention, detection, and response to the incidence of sexual abuse by clearly identifying, prioritizing and addressing programmatic and procedural gaps related to PREA standards, an independent evaluation will be conducted to measure change in perceptions of sexual safety and training effectiveness in addition to measure PREA compliance addressed in the SSA. Sustainability will be realized through ongoing commitment of staffing and resources from DOC and lessons learned from this project will be shared through the PREA Resource Center to further efforts in the enhancement of sexual safety throughout the country.


Date Created: August 7, 2012