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The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress.

The purpose of the Act is to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” 

The act also creates the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and charges it with developing standards for the elimination of prison rape. The original standards were published in June 2009 and turned over to the Department of Justice for review and passage as a final rule. That final rule became effective August 20, 2012. 

The National PREA Resource Center contains a copy of the National Standards as well as a multitude of resources regarding PREA implementation.