Where to begin

You have been tasked with implementing PREA for your agency or facility. But where do you begin? The PREA Resource Center (PRC) website has a wealth of resources available free of charge; but we realize that figuring out how to begin may be overwhelming, especially if you are new to PREA. Below you will find a helpful list of resources to increase your understanding of the PREA Standards and assist you in determining your next steps.

Read the PREA Standards

Use the links on the left to select the PREA Standards that apply to your facility type or types. We encourage you to read all the standards, including the definitions in Standards 115.5 and 115.6, so that you have a sense of the many requirements in the Standards, and key terms used throughout them.

Read the Final Rule and preamble 

When the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) promulgated the final PREA Standards in May 2012, they issued a comprehensive document, referred to as the “PREA Final Rule,” that includes not only the Standards themselves, but also a preamble section that includes explanations regarding why the Standards were developed as they were. Although the preamble section is lengthy, it provides useful context that will deepen your understanding of the Standards. Everyone responsible for PREA implementation should read the preamble. 

Read the FAQ's interpretive guidance

The PREA Working Group (officials from various agencies and divisions of the DOJ) meets regularly to offer interpretive guidance related to the meaning of specific Standards in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). You can search by Standard number, topic, date, or keyword to identify FAQs of interest. The FAQs are an invaluable resource that will substantially increase your knowledge of the PREA Standards, and help to focus your implementation efforts. Check back often to keep abreast of new FAQs and updates to existing ones.

Review the audit instrument and the PREA Auditor Handbook

The PREA audit is likely front and center on your mind. While that is understandable, we encourage you to focus not only on how to pass the audit, but also on how to implement the PREA standards sustainably. Keeping that balance in mind, it is important to familiarize yourself with the various facets of the audit, including all of the materials associated with the audit instrument for your facility type(s). When it comes time to conduct PREA audit(s) in your agency/facility,  one of the first things the auditor will do is ask you to complete is the Pre-Audit Questionnaire (PAQ). You  should review the PAQ soon,  so you can see what you will need to provide to the auditor in advance of his/her onsite visit. The checklist of documentation provides a guide for what materials an auditor will request to inform the audit. There are many more sections of the PAQ to review, including the interview protocols and the auditor compliance tool. Another vitally important document is the PREA Auditor Handbook, which includes DOJ’s specific auditing requirements that all DOJ-certified auditors must uphold.

Contact the National PREA Resource Center

The PRC is here to help. Staff from the PRC welcome any and all questions you have related to the PREA Standards, implementation challenges, and requests for resources and assistance. Submit your question today. Also be sure to sign up for the PRC’s monthly notifications to stay up-to-date on new PREA resources and relevant training opportunities.