Published June, 2009

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission: Report, June 2009

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC) Report details the results of six years of investigation of sexual abuse in detention facilities for adults, youth, and immigrants in the United States. The NPREC, created under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), was charged with studying and analyzing the penological, medical, social, psychological, and economic impact of prison rape as well as providing recommended standards to the Attorney General and Department of Justice for eliminating abuse in these facilities. The NPREC Report significantly relied on the testimony of experts such as Teen SENSE partner, Jody Marksamer, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The central findings of the NPREC Report were: 1) sexual abuse is pervasive in corrections facilities throughout the country; 2) youth and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) are at a significantly higher risk for being sexually victimized; 3) sexual abuse prevention, investigation, and treatment programs must be tailored specifically to the needs of youth, LGBTQ youth, and LGBTQ adults; 4) all staff, volunteers, and medical personnel must be subject to background checks and be trained on sexual abuse; 5) few correctional facilities have effective monitoring for prevention of abuse, adequate procedures for reporting when abuse occurs, or acceptable access to necessary treatment for those who have been abused; and 6) detained immigrants are at risk of sexual abuse due to their heightened vulnerability. The NPREC Report also found that youth are "ill-equipped to respond to the sexual advances of older, more experienced youth or adult caretakers." Many youth are reluctant to report abuse due to shame, stigma, and retaliation by perpetrators. The NPREC Report found that reporting procedures for youth must be confidential and secure and staff must have particularized training on sexual abuse as it pertains to youth and LGBTQ youth.