Polk County Community, Family & Youth Services

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed with unanimous support from both parties in Congress in 2003.  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."  (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003).  In addition to creating a mandate for significant research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and through the National Institute of Justice, funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Corrections supported major efforts in many state correctional, juvenile detention, community corrections, and jail systems.

PREA and the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center

The Polk County Juvenile Detention Center (PCJDC) has a zero-tolerance policy relating to sexual assault/rape of a youth and will cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of anyone involved in the sexual assault/rape and harassment of a youth at our facility.

Sexual acts or sexual contact between staff and youth, even if the youth consents, initiates, or pursues- is prohibited and illegal. 

Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to sexual harassment (demeaning references to gender, derogatory comments about gender, jokes about sex or gender specific traits, abusive, threatening, profane or degrading sexual comments, attention, language or conduct of a sexual nature). 

Sexual harassment behavior that could rise to the level of criminal behavior as defined by Iowa Code Section 708.7, will be referred for investigation by local law enforcement (Polk County Sheriff's Office). Non-criminal investigations shall be investigated administratively and any findings of fact shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Resident-on resident sexual abuse and harassment is also prohibited.  The primary responsibility of PCJDC staff is youth safety.

PCJDC has a designated PREA Compliance Officer with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement, and oversee agency efforts to comply with the PREA standards. 

PREA Juvenile Facility Standards

PCJDC PREA Annual Reivew (FY 16-17)

Reporting Sexual Abuse, Sexual Harassment, or Staff Sexual Misconduct

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or staff sexual misconduct while in custody by any law enforcement agency or correctional facility, or if you know of an incident of sexual assault of a person in the custody of any law enforcement agency, correctional facility or in this program, please report it immediately!

Who to Inform:
  • Any staff member at the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center.  It is part of their job to ensure safety and maintain confidentiality.
  • The youth's Juvenile Court Officer.

Polk County Juvenile Court
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50310
(515) 286-3960

  • The Program Administrator of the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center

Currently, Dan Larson
Polk County Juvenile Detention Center
1548 Hull Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50316
(515) 286-2100

  • The PREA Compliance Officer at the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center

Currently, Eric Hansen
Polk County Juvenile Detention Center
1548 Hull Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50316
(515) 286-3344

  • The Iowa Department of Human Services Abuse Hotline.  Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  1-800-362-2178.
  •  Report it directly to Law Enforcement by calling 9-1-1.
Reports can be made in any of the following ways:
  • Verbally
  • In Writing
  • Anonymously
  • By a Third Party
Family, friends and community advocates can also report allegations of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and retaliation. All reported incidents of sexual misconduct will be investigated. 

Retaliation for Reporting Sexual Abuse, Harassment, or Misconduct is Prohibited

The Polk County Juvenile Detention Center prohibits anyone from interfering with an investigation, including intimidation or retaliation against witnesses.  If you believe you are being unfairly transferred or punished in some way because you filed a complaint or assisted in the investigation of a complaint, please report this immediately to the Program Administrator or Investigator.

For more information about the Prision Rape Elimination Act (PREA) visit the PREA Resource Center at http://www.prearesourcecenter.org/.  


Contact Us

Community & Family Division
Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310

Youth Services Division
Juvenile Detention 515-286-3344
Centralized Intake 515-286-3350
1548 Hull Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316