For Immediate Release DHS Press Office Contact: 202-282-8010
WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finalized Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse and assault in DHS confinement facilities, meeting a May 2012 Presidential Directive. PREA was enacted in 2003 with strong bipartisan support.
Today’s announcement finalizes a rule first proposed last year and follows an extensive public comment period. The rule builds on current DHS detention policies and practices, including
Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) and a May 2012 Directive on “Sexual Abuse and Assault Prevention and Intervention” issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“DHS is committed to upholding a culture that promotes safety and refuses to tolerate abuse,” said Secretary Jeh Johnson. “This rule will strengthen standards in DHS confinement facilities and ensure robust oversight.”
The DHS rule will require extensive planning and training for officers and others who work in those detention facilities, as well as standards for audits and compliance review. The rule will cover immigration detention facilities overseen by ICE and holding facilities, which are used by both ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The DHS rule consolidates and builds on the substantial safeguards against sexual assault already in place. DHS will continue to develop policies, procedures and practices that advance PREA’s goal of preventing sexual abuse in confinement facilities and is fully committed to the full implementation of its new regulations as well as continued oversight of the detention system.
DHS is issuing the rule pursuant to the May 2012 Presidential Memorandum directing all agencies with federal confinement facilities to create rules or procedures setting standards to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse, and also to comply with the subsequently enacted, bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.