Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

What is it?

In September, 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act was signed into law and became the first federal law to address the sexual abuse and harassment of incarcerated individuals.   The law mandates that states adopt a “Zero Tolerance” for all forms of offender sexual abuse and harassment and that each state make prevention of offender sexual abuse and harassment a top priority.

Reality House Zero Tolerance Policy

At Reality House, every resident has the right to be free from sexual abuse and harassment.  In accordance with PREA, Reality House has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of resident sexual abuse and harassment.  Reality House will investigate all allegations and actively seek prosecution when a perpetrator is identified.

Sexual abuse is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact.  When sexual contact is accomplished through fear, threat or implied threat, it is considered sexual abuse.  Staff-on-Resident sexual abuse will not be tolerated.  It is against state law for a staff member, contractor or volunteer, to engage in any type of sexual behavior with a resident.

Reality House has taken various steps to stop sexual abuse and harassment, including increasing the number security cameras, providing the resident population with multiple ways to report of resident sexual abuse, training the staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, and educating the resident population on how to avoid and report sexual abuse.

Reporting Resident Sexual Abuse or Harassment

Reality House takes resident safety very seriously and ensures that everyone that lives or works within our facility understands the signs and symptoms of resident sexual abuse and how to report allegations of abuse.

Residents

Residents residing at Reality House are encouraged to report resident sexual abuse immediately.  Residents are provided a number of ways to report abuse that includes anonymous reports via the PREA Hotline or reporting to a trusted staff member.  In addition, residents may report abuse through the resident grievance process.

Staff

In accordance with Reality House Sexual Abuse and Harassment Policy, staff having knowledge of resident-on-resident or staff-on-resident sexual abuse must report immediately to the shift manager while keeping the victim safe.

Should any staff member have a PREA allegation that he/she would like to report anonymously, they may call the Staff Tips Hotline at 573-526-7000 or 855-773-6391. To learn more about  PREA,  go to www.prearesoucecenter.

Friends and Family

Friends and family of offenders of Reality House may report offender sexual abuse and harassment by contacting:

PREA Coordinator- Chante’ Wright
Reality House Programs, Inc.
PO Box 1507
Columbia, MO 65203

573/449-8117

prea@realityhouse.org

When reporting resident sexual abuse or harassment, you will be asked to provide information that will assist in the investigation such as the resident’s name and resident’s number, where the alleged incident occurred, time and date of the incident, as well as a brief summary of the allegation.