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PREA Resources

NOTE: You are viewing an online version of the PREA Resource disc that is distributed on DVD by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). NIC is providing this online version as an alternative to the DVD copy and also includes web-viewable versions of NIC's PREA videos. If you require the DVD version or videos with closed captioning, please contact the NIC Help Desk


On September 4, 2003, President Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) into law. As a part of the law, Congress charged the National Institute of Corrections with a variety of tasks to assist the field of corrections. Included among these are the provision of training and education about the law and the issue which prompted its passage.

A key element of providing this assistance is to build our relevant knowledge about sexual assault in correctional institutions. While it is important to identify and hear from various experts, it is equally important to understand the issue from the perspective of correctional staff. To begin collecting input and information the decision was made early in NIC’s PREA Initiative to conduct a series of focus groups at several facilities around the country.

Achieving a regional balance, NIC identified and worked with a variety of prisons and jails, both large and small. Focus groups were conducted with facility executive staff, mid-managers, line officers, and administrative and support staff who perform an array of functions. The participants responded to several questions regarding the problems they encounter in preventing or responding to an incident, and described any successes their agencies had addressing the issue. Questions regarding the dynamics explored what the participants knew generally about sexual assault, plus what procedures had been put in place and what training had been received. These discussions yielded a rich source of information directly from the field about attitudes, knowledge, and current practices.

Staff Perspectives on Sexual Violence in Adult Prisons and Jails: Trends from Focus Group Interviews is an overview of this work and the first volume in a series of bulletins. In addition to key findings, it presents staffviews on policy and training, inmate culture, causesand conditions, assault indicators, characteristicsof victims and perpetrators, inmate orientation, investigations and prosecutions, and issues regarding responding to sexual violence. It is hoped that these ideas and recommendations will assist you and your agency as you develop strategies to address the problem of sexual violence in correctional institutions.

~ Morris L. Thigpen, Sr.

PREA Self-Paced Training Options

Facing Prison Rape

    This informational video discusses the elements of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 and the critical issues facing administrators.

  • Watch "Facing Prison Rape" Running Time: 00:23:36

Responding to Prisoner Rape

    This video examines effective strategies for preventing sexual assault and misconduct in both male and female correctional settings.

  • Watch "Responding to Prisoner Rape"Running Time: 00:32:20

Speaking Up

    These videos provide new male and female inmates with information related to the prevention of unwanted relationships with other inmates or any personal relationships with staff. Topics discussed include: the law and institutional policy; what to watch out for-prevention; and what you can do—reporting and investigation. The videos are available in English and Spanish.

  • Watch "Speaking Up: Male" (English)Running Time: 00:25:34
  • Watch "Speaking Up: Female" (English)Running Time: 00:20:22
  • Watch "Speaking Up: Male" (Spanish) Running Time: 00:20:52
  • Watch "Speaking Up: Female" (Spanish) Running Time: 00:22:50

Keeping Our Kids Safe: The Prison Rape Elimination Act and Juvenile Justice

    This video examines effective strategies for preventing sexual assault and misconduct in both male and female juvenile correctional settings. Topics include: locations of assault, consequences, approaches, statistics, prevention and reduction, youth issues, prosecution, outcomes, and action points.

  • Watch "Keeping Our Kids Safe" Running Time: 00:23:00
  • Facilitator's Guide

All Audiences

Prisons, Jails & Juvenile Facilities

Community Corrections

National Prison Rape Elimination Commision Reports & Proposed Standards

NIC PREA Reports to Congress


The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is a small agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Institute is headed by a director appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. An advisory board, consisting of 10 appointed members and 6 ex officio members, established by the enabling legislation (Public Law 93-415) provides policy direction to the Institute.

What We Do

We provide training, technical assistance, information services, and policy/program development assistance to federal, state, and local corrections agencies. Through cooperative agreements, we award funds to support our program initiatives. We also provide leadership to influence correctional policies, practices, and operations nationwide in areas of emerging interest and concern to correctional executives and practitioners as well as public policymakers.

Our History

In September 1971, a major riot at New York's Attica prison focused national attention on corrections and the practice of imprisonment in the United States. In response to public concern and recognizing the problems in corrections facilities and programs at the State and local levels, Attorney General John N. Mitchell convened a National Conference on Corrections in Williamsburg, Virginia, in December 1971.

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, in his keynote address before the 450 conference participants, expressed support for the establishment of a national training academy for corrections. The training academy would:

  • Encourage the development of a body of corrections knowledge, coordinate research, and formulate policy recommendations.
  • Provide professional training of the highest quality for corrections employees and executives.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of advanced ideas in corrections.
  • Bring about long-delayed improvements in the professionalism of the corrections field.

The National Institute of Corrections was created in 1974. It first received funding in 1977 as a line item in the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget.

Our Vision

"The National Institute of Corrections is a leader in contributing to a just and humane society."

Our Mission & Goals

"The National Institute of Corrections is a center of learning, innovation and leadership that shapes and advances effective correctional practice and public policy."

Strategic Goals

Goal I: To advance the field of corrections.

Goal II: To ensure NIC creates and sustains internal excellence and organizational learning and creates the highest customer value.

Our Organizational Structure

The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is administered by a Director appointed by the U.S. Attorney General. A 16-member Advisory Board provides policy direction to the Institute. The Institute has a core staff of 51, augmented by experienced corrections specialists on loan for 2-year periods from state and local governments and others assigned from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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To report problems or if you have questions about this material, please go to: http://nicic.gov/HelpDesk