Prisoner Rape

If you’re an inmate, a former inmate, or know an inmate who survived sexual assault while in prison, there are resources available to you.

What is prisoner rape?

Prisoner rape includes any act of sexual violence committed against an inmate. The perpetrator may be another inmate, or they may be a staff member who works for the prison, jail, or detention facility.


What is being done?

In 2003, The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed with the goal of analyzing the status of sexual assault crimes committed in prison and offering support services to inmates. The Act established the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission to develop standards for responding to and preventing instances of sexual assault in prisons. These standards, released in May 2012 by the Department of Justice, outline means for preventing sexual assaults and offering survivors the care they need, including cost-free sexual assault forensic exams, access to a sexual assault service provider or similar community organization, and resources for support services like the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You can read a summary of the standards here.


Where can I learn more?

Learn more about prisoner rape from Just Detention International. You can also learn more about the Prison Rape Elimination Act by visiting the PREA Resource Center.


If you are a PREA coordinator looking to partner with RAINN or have questions, contact Jessica Leslie, National Sexual Assault Hotline Program Director at

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