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An Assessment of the Knowledge, Support, and Behavior Surrounding the Implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 50 Issue: 7 Dated: 2023 Pages: 1016-1034
Date Published
19 pages

This article discusses support for the Prison Rape Elimination Act by corrections staff and incarcerated persons, and also whether the law is being correctly enforced, through the examination of questionnaire data.


The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was designed to eliminate from corrections systems all acts of sexual violence. PREA’s success will be determined by whether corrections staff and incarcerated persons support this law, understand its legal elements, and are enforcing it according to its original intentions. To date, few studies have examined whether members of both populations do indeed support PREA, and whether they are enforcing it correctly. To explore these issues, this article discusses questionnaire data that were collected from corrections staff and incarcerated persons housed in three medium-level security prisons located in the southeastern United States. While both groups expressed personal support for PREA, neither perceived the other as supportive of this law. Moreover, while an overwhelming majority of each sample responded correctly to questions about PREA, there were some incorrect answers, specifically with regard to mandatory reporting procedures. The paper lastly provides discussion of policy implications. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023