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The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003

PREA Overview

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted in 2003, was created to eliminate and prevent sexual assault and rape in correctional systems. PREA applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, and police lock-ups.  Major provisions of PREA include the development of standards for the detection, prevention, reduction and investigation of sexual assaults and harassment in prisons, jails, and police lock-ups.   

State Police PREA Policy

The Massachusetts State Police has a zero tolerance policy toward sexual abuse and sexual harassment of any kind towards any detainee while in State Police custody.  All detainees have equal rights to safety, dignity, and justice and have the right to be free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment.  To that end, the Massachusetts State Police has implemented policies to prevent, detect, and investigate sexual abuse and harassment within its confinement facilities.  It is the State Police’s policy to detect and investigate sexual abuse by an employee, vendor, contracted agency, volunteer, detainee or other non-Department member with a business association with the State Police. Detainees who are subject of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are strongly encouraged to report the behavior.  All complaints will be investigated thoroughly and completely, whether criminally or administratively, whichever is most appropriate.

Additional Resources

Reporting Sexual Abuse or Harassment

Detainees experiencing sexual abuse or harassment may report the behavior to any Massachusetts State Police employee, or to a third party, such as friend or family member, attorney or advocate, who may make the report for them.   If you were assaulted as a detainee while in State Police custody, or you know someone who was assaulted while in State Police custody, you can report the incident by calling the Massachusetts State Police Citizen Response Intake Line at (508) 988-7003 and following the prompts; by contacting a State Police facility for instructions; by appearing in person at a State Police facility and completing an SP 340 citizen complaint form; or by downloading the SP 340 form from the State Police.  When reporting an alleged incident, please provide, as best you can, a description of the alleged incident, the location of the incident, the date, time, identity or ID number of the individual(s) whom you believe assaulted or harassed you, the identity of any witnesses, your name, if you choose, and a telephone number or address where you can be reached. Please visit here on how to submit a complaint.

Third Party Reporting

Alternatively, reports may be made directly to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office at 617-963-2800. You can remain anonymous.  The Attorney General’s Office is not affiliated with the State Police and will report the alleged incident to the proper State Police authorities on your behalf to investigate.   

Rape Crisis Centers

If you are in need of further information or support, you may contact a Massachusetts sexual assault and rape crisis center for services. You can locate a support service center by visiting the following site.

Annual PREA Reports and Audits

View the Annual PREA and Final Audit Reports here.

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