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PREA Governor Letter from DOJ 2014

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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of the Assistant Attorney General

Washington, D.C. 20531

February 11, 2014

Dear Governor:
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support
from both parties in Congress. Eliminating prison rape is a priority of the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) because we believe that sexual abuse is a crime, and should not be the punishment
for a crime. On June 20, 2012, after extensive notice-and-comment rulemaking and consultation
with State and local corrections officials and other stakeholders, DOJ published a final rule
adopting national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison
rape, as directed by PREA. The National PREA Standards, which are found at 28 C.F.R. Part
115, took effect on August 20,2012, and apply to DOJ, State, and local confinement facilities,
including adult prisons and jails, juvenile facilities, police lockups, and community corrections
facilities. To assist States and localities with the implementation of the National PREA
Standards, DOJ, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, funded the National PREA Resource
Center to provide training and technical assistance, as well as to serve as a single-stop resource
for leading research and tools for all those in the field working to come into compliance with the
National PREA Standards . 1
As you may know, PREA contains mandates that may affect grant funding your State
receives from DOJ in Fiscal Year 2014. The statute provides that, if a Governor is not able to
certify to DOJ that the State is in full compliance with the National PREA Standards, the
Governor has the option to submit an assurance to DOJ that not less than five percent of certain
DOJ grant funds will be used solely for the purpose of enabling the State to achieve and certify
full compliance with the standards in future years. 42 U.S. C.§ 15607(e)(2). If the Governor is
not able to certify to DOJ that the State is in full compliance with the National PREA Standards
and elects not to submit an assurance to DOJ, the State is subject to the loss of five percent of
certain DOJ grant funds that it would otherwise receive.
In Fiscal Year 2014, there are three DOJ grant programs (or portions thereof) subject to
this statutory provision. Two are administered by the Office of Justice Programs: (1) the Bureau
1

The National PREA Resource Center's website is www.prearesourcecenter.org. The final rule, including the
National PREA Standards, can be found at http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/sites/default/files/library/20 1212427.pdf.

of Justice Assistance's Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program, and
(2) the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant Program. One is administered by the Office on
Violence Against Women: the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence
Against Women Formula Grant Program.
The current fiscal year, which ends September 30,2014, is the first year during which
these DOJ grant funds will be subject to the five-percent reduction in the event that a State does
not certify compliance with the National PREA Standards, or provide an assurance that the State
is using at least five percent of such grant funding to achieve full compliance.
Attached you will find a PREA Standards Certification form and a PREA Standards
Assurance form. These should be used to indicate, respectively, either that your State is in full
compliance with the National PREA Standards, or that your State will use not less than five
percent of the covered grant funds to achieve full compliance with the National PREA Standards
in the future.
You should note that legal restrictions on the uses of OJJDP Formula Grant and STOP
Grant funds may make them unavailable to the State for addressing certain areas of
noncompliance with the PREA standards. If a State is in full compliance with the standards as
they apply to the State's juvenile facilities, and out of compliance only with regard to adult
facilities, it could not lawfully spend OJJDP Formula Grant funds to come into compliance.
Because it would be impossible to use this money to come into compliance, the State would not
be subject to the five-percent reduction in OJJDP Formula Grant funding. Likewise, STOP
Grant funds are limited in that they cannot be used for new construction, even if that is necessary
to bring a State into full compliance with the PREA standards. If a State is in full compliance
except for a deficiency that requires new construction, it could not lawfully spend STOP Grant
funding to come into compliance, and the State therefore would not be subject to the five-percent
reduction in STOP Grant funds. The PREA Standards Assurance form requires you to indicate
whether either or both of these circumstances apply to your State.
May 15, 2014 is the deadline for one of these two forms (either a Cetiification or an
Assurance form), signed by the Governor, to be received by the PREA Management Office,
Bureau of Justice Assistance, 810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C., 20531. Executed
forms may bee-mailed to PREACompliance@usdoj.gov.
If the PREA Management Office does not receive a signed copy of either form by May
15, 2014, your State will be subject to a loss of five percent of each of the FY 2014 covered grant
funds referenced above as required under 42 U.S.C. § 15607(e)(2).
A Governor's PREA Certification of full compliance with the National PREA Standards
"shall apply to all facilities in the State under the operational control of the State's executive
branch, including facilities operated by private entities on behalf of the State's executive
branch." 28 C.P.R.§ 115.50l(b). In detennining whether the State is in full compliance, "the
Governor shall consider the resnlts of the most recent agency audits." 28 C.P.R.§ 115.50l(a).

2

The National PREA Standards provide that all confinement facilities subject to the
standards must be audited by a DOJ-certified auditor at least once every three years, with onethird of each facility type operated by an agency, or private organization on behalf of an agency,
to be audited each year. The first audit cycle began on August 20,2013. DOJ intends audits to
be a primary, but not the only, factor in determining whether a State is in full compliance.
Neither the PREA statute nor the National PREA Standards restrict the sources of information
that Governors may use in deciding whether to certify whether a State is in full compliance with
the National PREA Standards.
If you have any questions concerning PREA implementation or the attached forms,
please send inquiries to the PREA Management Office at PREACompliance@usdoj.gov.
Requests for PREA implementation training or technical assistance may be directed to the PREA
Resource Center at www.prearesourcecenter.org/training-technical-assistance/reguest-forassistance.

DOJ looks forward to continuing to collaborate with you as we work together to
implement the National PREA Standards and combat sexual abuse in confinement facilities.
Sincerely,

Karol V. Mason
Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
Attachment

3

Certification Regarding Adoption and Full Compliance with
the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape

2014
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 15607(e)(2), I certify to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ):
As of the date of signature of this certification (in no case later than May 15, 2014), the
State/jurisdiction named below has adopted, and is in full compliance with, the National Standards to
Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, 28 C.F.R. Part 115.
If, after the date of signature of this certification, credible information should come to the attention of
the undersigned (or his or her successor) that casts reasonable doubt on the accuracy of this
certification as of the date of signature, the same shall conduct a reassessment and determine whether
this certification was accurate as of the date of signature. If the certification is determined not to have
been accurate, the undersigned or a designee will:
1) Within 15 days, notify DOJ via the email address below of the existence ofthe inaccuracy;
and
2) Within 15 days of providing such notice,
A) submit an Assurance signed by the Chief Executive (using the form provided by DOJ)
indicating that the State/jurisdiction will expend not less than 5% of its covered DOJ
grant funds for FY 2014 to adopt, and achieve full compliance with, the National
Prison Rape Standards {28 C.F.R. Part 115), so as to ensure that a certification may·
be submitted in future years; or
B) agree to return 5% of its covered DOJ grant funds for FY 2014 as calculated by DOJ.

Signature of Chief Executive

Printed name of Chief Executive

Name of State/Jurisdiction

Date

This form must be received by the Department of Justice, PREA Management Office by May 15, 2014.
Email a signed version of this form to: PREACompliance@usdoj.gov

A false statement in this certification or in the grant application that it supports may be subject to criminal
prosecution, including under 18 U.S. C.§ 1001 and 42 U.S. C.§ 3795a. DOl grants, including certifications provided
in connection with such grants, are subject to review by the DOl component that issued the grant and/or by the
DOl Office of the Inspector General.

Assurance to Utilize Department of Justice Grants to Achieve Full Compliance with
the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape

2014

Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 15607(e)(2), I assure the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that, subject
to the exceptions checked below (if applicable), the State/jurisdiction named below will use not
less than 5 percent of its covered DOJ grant funds for FY 2014 to enable the State/jurisdiction to
adopt, and achieve full compliance with, the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and
Respond to Prison Rape (28 C.F.R. Part 115), so as to ensure that a certification of full
compliance may be submitted in future years.

1. _ _ the State/jurisdiction named below has adopted, and is in full compliance with, the National
Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, 28 C.F.R. Part 115, insofar as those standards
implicate juvenile facilities, as defined in 28 C.F.R. § 115.5, but is not in full compliance with one or more
standards insofar as those standards implicate non-juvenile facilities. Accordingly, grants issued by the
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are not subject to the required set aside of funds
for PREA purposes and shall not be used for purposes of the above Assurance.
2. __ the State/jurisdiction named below has adopted, and is in full compliance with, the National
Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, 28 C.F.R. Part 115, except to the extent that
full compliance would require new construction. Accordingly, grants issued by the Office on Violence
Against Women are not subject to the required set aside of funds for PREA purposes and shall not be
used for purposes of the above Assurance.

If the State/jurisdiction has checked Box 1 and/or 2, and after the date of signature of this assurance,
credible information should come to the attention of the undersigned (or his or her successor) that casts
reasonable doubt on the accuracy (as of the date of signature) of the information relied upon in
checking Box 1 and/or 2, the same shall conduct a reassessment and determine whether this selection
of such box(es) was accurate as of the date of signature. If the selection of one or both boxes is
determined not to have been accurate, the undersigned or a designee will:
1) Within 15 days, notify DOJ via the email address below of the existence of the inaccuracy;
and
2) Within 15 days of providing such notice, submit a revised Assurance, signed by the Chief
Executive.

Signature of Chief Executive

Printed name of Chief Executive

Name of State/Jurisdiction

Date

This form must be received by the Department of Justice, PREA Management Office by May 15, 2014.
Email a signed version of this form to: PREACompliance@usdoj.gov

A false statement in this assurance or in the grant application that it supports may be subject to criminal
prosecution, including under 18 U.S. C.§ 1001 and 42 U.S. C.§ 3795o. DOl grants, including assurances provided in
connection with such grants, are subject to review by the DOl component that issued the grant and/or by the DOl
Office of the Inspector General.

 

 

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