Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 Law and Legal Definition

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) is the first United States federal law to address sexual violence behind bars. The act aimed to curb prison rape through a "zero-tolerance" policy, as well as through research and information gathering. The act called for developing national standards to prevent and detect incidents of sexual violence in prison, making data on prison rape more available to prison administrators as well as making corrections facilities more accountable for incidents of prison rape. The Act also authorizes the establishment of a "National Prison Rape Reduction Commission." It further mandates the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to make the prevention of prison rape a top priority in each prison system.