Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 (Public Law 108-79 September 4, 2003) were officially signed in August of 2012 to protect the Eighth Amendment rights of all inmates. PREA was enacted by the United States Congress to address the problem of sexual assault of inmates in all penal facilities. PREA requires that standards be developed and implemented for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment, of all sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

It is the responsibility of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office personnel to be familiar with all the information readily available to prevent, detect, report, and respond, to incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

In accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office has a zero tolerance policy towards inmate sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office will investigate all reported incidents of sexual assault, abuse, or harassment, and will discipline and/or prosecute those who sexually assault, abuse, or harass inmates.

Any employee, volunteer, contractor, vendor, or official visitor can and will accept any information from an inmate regarding sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment, and will immediately forward the information to a supervisor. An inmate may feel more comfortable reporting sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment to someone other than a corrections deputy, and all individuals are legally bound to immediately report the information for further actions. Further action may include, but not be limited to: medical and mental treatment, segregation from the suspect, collection of evidence, criminal investigation, and other necessary procedures. Time is of the essence in reporting sexual abuse and sexual assault.