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.


Prison Rape Elimination Act Zero Tolerance Statement

Polk County Jail is committed to your safety and the safety of inmates. The inmates have a right to serve their sentence with dignity and free from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and retaliation. The volunteers, contract staff, facilitators and officers also have to right to work in this facility free of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and retaliation. PCJ has zero tolerance regarding sexual assault within its facilities. This means we do not tolerate any level of sexual harassment, misconduct, or assault in this facility. Every effort will be made to prevent sexual assault and misconduct from occurring. Every allegation will be investigated, every violator punished, and every victim offered services.

PREA Prison & Jail Standards

Did you Know?



If you were previously housed at the Polk County Jail and need to report an allegation of sexual
abuse/sexual harassment or to report an allegation of Sexual Abuse/Sexual Harassment on behalf of an
individual who is or was housed at the Polk County Jail, you may contact the Polk County Jail at the
following numbers. Reports can be made over the phone, in person, in writing or anonymously if

PREA Coordinator:
Lieutenant Steven Courtney:
1985 NE 51st Place
Des Moines IA, 50313
Office: 515-323-5440

PREA Manager:
Sergeant Shawn Berry:
1985 NE 51st Place
Des Moines IA, 50313
Office: 515-323-5495

Polk County PREA Hotline: (answering machine only) available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Iowa Sex Abuse Hotline 1-800-284-7821

National Sex Abuse Hotline 1-800-656-4673

All cases of alleged sexual conduct shall be promptly, thoroughly, and objectively investigated.
Upon substantiation of any allegation of sexual conduct, appropriate disciplinary actions will be
taken against the employee, contractor, volunteer, or individuals in the Polk County Jail. Those
actions may include possible criminal prosecution. If the allegation potentially involves criminal
behavior, The Polk County Jail will ensure that allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment
are referred for investigation to an agency with the legal authority to conduct criminal