The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) is the first United States federal law passed dealing with the sexual assault of prisoners. The bill was signed into law on September 4, 2003. PREA defines "prison" quite broadly. Within the context of PREA, prison is defined as, "any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities, and state and federal prisons." Thus short-term lockups, such as holding facilities, and local jails, regardless of size, are also subject to the provisions of PREA.
A copy of the federal PREA law, Public Law 108-79, codified as 42 USC § 15601 can be found on the following website: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ79/pdf/PLAW-108publ79.pdf
PREA sets a standard that protects the Eighth Amendment right (Constitutional right prohibiting cruel or unusual punishment) of Federal, State, and local youth offenders. The goal of this law is to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse in confinement facilities. It also increases nation-wide data on sexual misconduct and sexual assaults on confined persons. PREA increases accountability for administrators who fail in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to sexual misconduct and sexual assaults.
Louisiana has a specific criminal law on malfeasance in office for certain employees/agents dealing with confined persons. This State law on malfeasance in office is codified as Revised Statute § 14:134.1. It can be found at the following website: http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=78318
Two other State laws related to the criminal prosecution of PREA incidents are:
Reporting Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment:
All reports of sexual abuse or sexual harassment will be investigated and addressed. Youth, employees, and third parties can report incidents of sexual abuse or sexual harassment in verbal or written formats. All parties can file a report with the Office of Juvenile Justice by calling the Investigative Services hotline at 1-800-626-1430. Reporters can remain anonymous or provide contact information in the event more information is needed.