skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220915 Find in a Library
Title: PREA and the Investigative Process
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:69  Issue:5  Dated:October 2007  Pages:70-75
Author(s): Carl Gerlicher; Jeff Shorba
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of and procedures for the investigative process under the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which was enacted in 2003 in order to address the problems of staff sexual misconduct with inmates and inmate-on-inmate sexual assault.
Abstract: This act provides the tools for corrections officials to combat such behavior through standardized reporting of incidents, research into screening and prevention techniques, grants for training and technical assistance, and new national standards to be issued by the Prison Rape Elimination Commission. In focusing on the investigative process under PREA, this article recognizes that if an agency's investigative process is not reliable, many other parts of the PREA strategy for eliminating rape in prisons will fail. Both inmates and staff must trust that the investigative process is fair, which requires that it be thorough and objective. Statements from witnesses, victims, and potential suspects all contribute to a comprehensive investigation report. Trust in the investigation process can be promoted by talking with staff and inmates in regular training and orientation sessions about the role of the investigator and the processes used to conduct investigations. Timely and efficient investigations are also important in promoting trust in their effectiveness and fairness. Trust in PREA investigations is further enhanced by timely and accurate reporting on the investigation's results, such that rumors are squelched and innocent parties are cleared. In discussing how to conduct effective investigations, this article focuses on the role of the first responder (witness to a sexual assault or responder to a sexual assault shortly after the incident), evidence collection and identification, interacting with the victim, interacting with the suspect, false allegations and findings, and investigator selection. 1 endnote
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Federal legislation; Female victims; Investigative techniques; Male sexual abuse victims; Prisoner sexual assault; Sexual assault; Sexual assault trauma; Sexual assault victims
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.