This episode is the start of our conversation about PREA, the Prison Rape Elimination Act. PREA was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.”
Upon speaking to prisoners about their experiences with PREA, what we noticed was that prisoners were often upset that the act’s zero tolerance policy also includes banning touch of any kind, causing a different set of problems for them. We will get into the history of PREA in our next episode, along with more commentary from prisoners on how, from their experience, PREA is implemented within prisons. But first, we wanted to share this conversation with Irene, who is a prisoner here in Indiana. Irene has had first hand experiences with PREA, and we felt that sharing her story was an excellent way to start in on the subject of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.