Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

​​The Departme​nt of Juvenile Services has a zero tolerance policy for all acts of sexual abuse and harassment. The department has established the Elimination and Reporting of Sexual Abuse and Harassment Policy and Procedures pursuant to the Prison Rape Elimination Act Juvenile Facility Standards, to prohibit and prevent sexual abuse and harassment and to detect, report, investigate, and address any allegation of abuse or harassment involving any youth in the custody of the department and its licensed or contracted residential program providers.

In 2003, President Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) into law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) developed national standards for implementation by federal, state, and local correctional organizations. The intended purpose of these standards was to provide comprehensive guidelines for preventing, detecting, and eliminating incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving adult inmates and youth in detention and residential facilities. After public review and comment, the Department of Justice published final Prison Rape Elimination Act Juvenile Facility Standards which became effective on August 20, 2012. The Maryland Department of Juvenile Services mandated all state operated residential facilities to comply with these standards.

The department is committed to providing safe and secure environments for youth. Extensive measures are taken to comprehensively investigate all reported allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. Allegations are reported to the Department of Social Services Child Protection Services Unit, the Maryland State Police and the Department of Juvenile Services Office of the Inspector General for investigation. Management teams review all investigations to determine corrective actions, which may include, enhanced facility practices, staff and/or youth discipline.

Pursuant to Prison Rape Elimination Act Juvenile Facility Standards §115.387 and §115.388, the department is mandated to collect data for every allegation of sexual abuse occurring in its facilities. This data must include, at a minimum, the data required to answer all questions from the most recent version of the Survey of Sexual Victimization conducted by the Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics. Additionally, the department is required to obtain incident-based and aggregate data from contracted private providers.

This report presents data for calendar year 2012-2019 as reported in the Department of Justice Survey of Sexual Victimization. Data is categorized in the following areas, Department of Juvenile Services Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) 2021 Annual Report​.

A copy of the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) law, Public Law 108-79, codified as 42 USC 15601 can be found on the following website:

More information about Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) can be found at the PREA Resource Center.

If you suspect or have knowledge of a youth being sexually abused or sexually harassed by either a staff member or another youth, please contact the Office of the Inspector General at 855-821-2103.