The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in the US Congress. The purpose of the act was 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." (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003). The Act also created the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and charged it with developing draft standards for the elimination of prison rape. Those standards were published in June 2009, and were turned over to the Department of Justice for review and passage as a final rule. That final rule became effective August 20, 2012. In essence, PREA established national standards to support the reduction, prevention and elimination of sexual abuse within correction systems, including juvenile facilities. The National PREA Resource Center has a copy of the standards as well as numerous resources regarding PREA implementation.

Within the context of PREA, prison is defined as "any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities and state and federal prisons". 

Santa Barbara County Probation Department and PREA

Zero Tolerance Policy:

It is the policy of the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), to ensure accountability, prevention, detection, response and monitoring of alleged sexual assault. This includes, but not limited to, the assurance that timely intervention takes place for any youth who may be the victim of alleged sexual assault. The Santa Barbara County Probation Department is committed to maintaining an environment free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment of youth in its facilities. There is zero tolerance for anyone engaged in any form of sexual abuse or sexual harassment of youth. All sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited and may be referred to the District Attorney for filing of criminal charges. This policy applies to all employees including: volunteers, interns, independent contractors and all probationers under the supervision of the Santa Barbara County Probation Department and/or who are in custody in the Santa Maria Juvenile Hall or the Los Prietos Boys Camp. Sexual misconduct is any behavior or act of a sexual nature directed toward a person under the care, custody, or supervision of the Department and/or collateral contact by the person in authority with family members, employers, friends and other close associates. Retaliatory measures against employees or probationers who report incidents of sexual abuse will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. Retaliatory measures include, but not limited to, coercion, threats of punishment, or any other activities intended to discourage or prevent an employee or youth from reporting sexual abuse.

How to Report Concerns About Suspected or Reported Incidents of Sexual Abuse

If you suspect sexual abuse has happened to any youth at Juvenile Hall or at the Los Prietos Boys Camp, you can call or contact any of the agencies or individuals listed below:

Director, Santa Maria Juvenile Hall (805) 934-6273
Director, Los Prietos Boys Camp (805) 692-1751
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Dept. (805) 681-4100
Rape Crisis Center (Santa Barbara) (805) 963-6832
Rape Crisis Center (Santa Maria) (805) 928-3554
Rape Crisis Center (Lompoc) (805) 736-7273
Santa Barbara County Probation Dept. Professional Standards Unit (805) 882-3668
Complaint Form
Your child's assigned Deputy Probation Officer
Your child's attorney

All PREA related questions should be directed to the Santa Barbara County Probation PREA Coordinator at (805) 934-6273.

PREA-Related Links: