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Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

What Is It?

In September of 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act was signed into law and became the first federal law to address the sexual abuse and harassment of incarcerated individuals.  The law mandates that states adopt a "Zero Tolerance" for all forms of offender sexual abuse and harassment and that each state make prevention of offender sexual abuse and harassment a top priority.

Zero Tolerance Policy

Every incarcerated individual has the right to be free from sexual abuse and harassment.  In accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Department of Justice Services has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of offender and staff sexual abuse and harassment.  The department will investigate all allegations and actively seek prosecution when an incident is substantiated.

Sexual abuse is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact.  When sexual contact is accomplished through fear, threat or implied, it is considered sexual abuse.  Staff-on-Offender sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.  It is against state law for a staff member, contractor or volunteer, to engage in any type of sexual behavior with an offender.

The department has taken various steps to stop sexual abuse and harassment, including providing the offender population with multiple ways to report sexual abuse, training our staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, and educating the offender population on how to avoid sexual abuse and report sexual abuse.

Reporting Offender Sexual Abuse or Harassment

The Department of Justice Services takes the safety of incarcerated offenders very seriously and ensures that everyone that lives or works within our facilities understands the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse and how to report allegations of abuse.

Offenders

Offenders incarcerated at the St. Louis County Justice Center are encouraged to report offender sexual abuse immediately.  Offenders are provided a number of ways to report abuse that includes anonymous reports via the PREA hotline, reporting to a trusted staff member, or writing to the St. Louis County Department of Human Services.  In addition, offenders may report abuse through the offender grievance process. 

Staff

In accordance with Department's Offender Sexual Abuse and Harassment Policy, staff having knowledge of offender-on-offender or staff-on-offender sexual abuse must report immediately to the shift supervisor while keeping the victim safe.

Friends and Family

Friends and family of offenders incarcerated with the St. Louis County Department of Justice Services may report offender sexual abuse and harassment by:

Calling: 314-615-5055 or Writing: PREA UNIT

Dept. of Justice Services

100 S. Central Ave.

Clayton, MO. 63105

or

Writing: Executive Secretary

St. Louis County Dept. of Human Services

9666 Olive Street Road, Suite 510

St. Louis, MO. 63132

When reporting offender sexual abuse of harassment, you will be asked to provide information that will assist in the investigation such as the offender's name and offender's inmate master number, the facility where the alleged incident occurred, time and date of the incident, as well as a brief summary of the allegation.