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Prison Rape Elimination Act

Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003 (PREA). The purposes of the Act are to establish a zero-tolerance policy regarding rape in prisons, jails, police lock-ups, and other confinement facilities by developing and implementing national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape. The Act also calls for an increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of state and local officials in investigating and prosecuting prison rape.

The Act applies to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders and to community-based correctional agencies.

To comply with the Act, the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Judicial District Departments of Correctional Services are committed to:

  • Practice zero tolerance for any type of sexual violence and/or sexual misconduct committed by offenders and employees.
  • Ensure executive level commitment to the prevention of sexual violence and sexual misconduct and provide a safe environment for staff, offenders, and visitors.
  • Establish central coordination and oversight of all duties and activities related to addressing sexual misconduct/sexual violence and insuring compliance with requirements and intent of the Prison Rape Elimination Act statewide to ensure a systemic and systematic approach.

Rape and Sexual Abuse is an underreported crime according to the US Dept. of Justice. If you are aware of an incarcerated individual or client who is experiencing sexual abuse you can report this anonymously through multiply venues: Via email to, you can also mail a letter to IDOC Central Office, 510 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA  50319 or State of Iowa Office of Ombudsman, 1112 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA  50319