Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA Research Paper

Pages: 3 (877 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

¶ … Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

When people in the United States are incarcerated, it is the government's responsibility to ensure their safety and welfare. One of the major problems facing convicts in many correctional facilities is rape. In response, the Prison Rape Elimination Act became a mandatory requirement for every adult and juvenile correctional facility in the United States and military facility abroad effective August 2013. This paper provides a review, critique and comparison of two peer-reviewed journal articles concerning this legislation to determine the Act's scope and intent. A summary of the research and important findings concerning the Prison Rape Elimination Act are presented in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

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In their study, "The Passage and Implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act: Legal Endogeneity and the Uncertain Road from Symbolic Law to Instrumental Effects," Jenness and Smyth (2011) report that the problem of rape in American prisons has been known for nearly two centuries, but it was not until the turn of the 21st century that President Bush acknowledged the efforts of the U.S. Congress to characterize prison rape as a national social problem that required substantive legislative intervention. As a result, President Bush signed into law and authorized significant federal funding to the tune of $60 million for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003 (Jenness & Smyth, 2011). According to Jenness and Smythe, "In accordance with this law, in 2009 the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, advocates, and prison rape survivors, released its final report and proposed standards to prevent, detect, respond to, and monitor sexual abuse of incarcerated or detained individuals throughout the United States" (p. 489).

TOPIC: Research Paper on Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA Assignment

Despite this seeming progress in addressing this national social issue, Attorney General Eric Holder failed to meet the statutory deadline established by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission by mid-2010 over concerns about the costs of implementation, meaning that these reforms remained recommendations rather than the law of the land. In this regard, Jenness and Smythe emphasize that, "These are historic moments in criminal justice policy development and reform [and] illustrate the failure of symbolic law to generate instrumental effects" (p. 490).

These researchers present a number of first-hand accounts of the severity of the problem of prison rape in America and suggest that the failure to adopt the recommendations of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission means that millions of incarcerated men, women and juveniles in America remain vulnerable to being sexually assaulted and infected with the HIV / AIDS virus in the process with little or no recourse available to them. In this regard, Jenness and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA.  (2013, May 26).  Retrieved December 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA."  26 May 2013.  Web.  2 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Prison Rape Elimination Act PREA."  May 26, 2013.  Accessed December 2, 2021.