Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA):
In 2003, the United States Congress signed into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). This landmark bill was created with the intention of uncovering, curbing and disciplining sexual assault and abuse within public and private correctional facilities. The PREA created a set of federal standards which aims to document and reduce sexual misconduct across federal, state and local correctional institutions by keeping them more accountable. In tandem with the PREA, the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission was established. This act was designed to be wide-ranging in application and encompasses half-way facilities such as Damascus Way Reentry Center.
Damascus Way PREA Compliance:
As a designated half-way house, Damascus Way Reentry Center is required by law to comply with the standards outlined in the PREA by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC). In adherence to these standards, Damascus Way submits to a PREA audit every three years (see 2018 audit here). This audit is conducted by an independent agent who is not employed by the DOC.
Damascus Way Reentry Center maintains a zero tolerance for client-on-client or staff-on-client sexual assault, abuse or harassment. This policy extends to all staff employed with Damascus Way. Each allegation of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment will be investigated. All identified criminal behavior and misconduct related to sexual assault will be reported to the proper authorities. For more information on Damascus Way’s policies and procedures (such as prevention, detection, response and terminology), please refer to our PREA Manual.