Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

San Francisco Sheriff's Office PREA compliance and reports

In this page:
What is PREA?

Congress enacted PREA in 2003 to prevent, detect and eliminate the sexual abuse of persons in the custody of U.S. correctional agencies. 

How does a person in custody report sexual abuse or sexual harassment?

Individuals who experience sexual abuse or sexual harassment in custody should:

  • inform a staff member;
  • ask for the PREA Coordinator;
  • complete a grievance or an action request; 
  • request  to speak with Jail Health Services or Behavior Health Services.

All people in custody have access to a toll free “hot line” so they may confidentially report sexual abuse or harassment and seek outside advocacy and counseling from an independent community organization not affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office. 

Department of Justice PREA definitions

Unfounded refers to an allegation that was investigated and determined not to have occurred.

Unsubstantiated refers to an allegation that was investigated and concluded the evidence was insufficient whether or not the event occurred.

Substantiated refers to an allegation that was investigated. The investigation produced sufficient evidence to make a final determination that the event occurred.

What is PREA’s mandatory reporting requirement?

Law enforcement agencies with detention facilities create an annual report of all sexual abuse and sexual harassment allegations reported within their facility. The report is posted on the agency’s website.

Allegations may expose gaps in an agency’s PREA standards, which the agency must address through corrective actions. Annual reporting compares and analyzes current year data and corrective actions over previous years.

Meeting PREA standards

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to keeping people safe in our facilities. Staff complete PREA certification and annual refresher training courses. This includes an assessment of our progress in addressing sexual abuse.

Allegations may expose gaps in an agency’s PREA standards, which the agency must address through corrective actions.