Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)

National Standards to Prevent, Detect, Deter and Respond to Prison Rape in Confinement Facilities
Public Law 108-79
CFR Part 115


The intended purpose of these standards is to provide comprehensive guidelines for preventing, detecting, deterring and responding to incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving inmates in a confinement facility. After a lengthy process that included public review and comment, the Department Of Justice published PREA Standards that dictate administrative and operational procedures for Federal, State and Local Adult Prisons and Jails, Lockups, Community Confinement Facilities and Juvenile Facilities. These PREA Standards became effective on August 20, 2012.

As a result, the Connecticut Department of Correction has issued an Administrative Directive establishing a "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy for sexual abuse and sexual harassment of inmates. To view the policy click on the following link: Adminitrative Directive 6.12 

The Connecticut Department of Correction:

  • Does not tolerate sexual abuse or sexual harassment of any inmate.
  • Shall work proactively at preventing, detecting, deterring and responding to acts of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving inmates.
  • Shall ensure that existing practices and new strategies to prevent, detect, deter, and respond to acts of sexual abuse and sexual harassment involving inmates comply with applicable PREA standards.

Auditor's Summary Reports

PREA auditor's summary report for each facility can be found in each facility page. Halfway House reports can be found below or on their individual websites.


All complaints of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are considered to be serious incidents that will be thoroughly investigated. The PREA Investigation Unit is in charge of all PREA related investigations and will accept complaints from any concerned individual. If an investigation reveals misconduct of a criminal nature the case will be referred to the Connecticut State Police for additional investigation and possible prosecution. All confirmed incidents can result in administrative sanctions and/or criminal prosecution.

Connecticut Department of Correction PREA Investigations by Facility

The Connecticut Department of Corrections (CTDOC) has embraced the principles associated with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) and maintains a Zero Tolerance policy for sexual abuse and sexual harassment of inmates. Even prior to PREA being passed, the CTDOC had taken steps to actively train its staff and inmates on prohibited sexual contact and inappropriate relationships as we worked toward prevention of sexual abuse within our facilities.

After the new Federal PREA standards were passed, the CTDOC was quick to appoint a Department level PREA Coordinator to develop, implement, and oversee the Department’s efforts to comply with the PREA standards. Although Connecticut was already practicing many of the required standards, it was important to complete a gap analysis to identify areas that needed revision to comply with the PREA standards. Once this analysis was completed, a strategic plan was developed to guide our compliance efforts.

CTDOC currently has 15 Prisons and 30 contracted Community Confinement Facilities.  A review of the incident based data collected for these facilities in 2013 reflected 127 total allegations of sexual abuse with 2 substantiated,  60 unsubstantiated, and 65 unfounded.

Through working our strategic plan in 2014, we were able to identify problem areas or areas lacking compliance from 2013 and bring those areas of non-compliance, into compliance. Some examples of the corrective action and progress made in addressing sexual abuse are the PREA training for all staff, contractors and volunteers. We have made revisions to multiple policies to better guide our staff and offenders regarding incidents of sexual abuse. We have established a PREA Compliance Manager at each facility. We established and implemented both an Internal and External PREA Hotlines to ensure multiple ways to report incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. The CTDOC has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS) to provide offenders with necessary victim advocate support. We have trained PREA investigators within the PREA Unit to conduct PREA investigations throughout the Department. We also have several projects that are on-going as we continue working toward compliance.

In comparison to 2013, we believe there has been significant growth in the progress made toward PREA Compliance for CTDOC. A review of the incident based data collected for all facilities in 2014 reflected 171 total allegations of sexual abuse with 14 substantiated, 85 unsubstantiated, and 72 unfounded. The above CTDOC numbers reflect that all allegations are taken seriously and investigated. The number did increase in 2014, but this was due to the increased awareness in the proper reporting procedures.  This progress made, specifically in areas of education and reporting methods in 2014 has created a more conducive reporting environment within our confinement facilities.

To ensure CTDOC is improving our effectiveness on an ongoing basis, all investigations of sexual abuse are reviewed in accordance with 28 CFR § 115.86 to ensure each facility continues to make appropriate changes where needed. The incident reviews of the data collected and aggregated revealed that staff training as well as inmate education warranted corrective actions. CTDOC created a comprehensive program to inform staff and inmates about PREA. This increased awareness of properly responding to and preventing sexual abuse and harassment in facilities under the control of the CTDOC.

Cepelak signature

Cheryl L. Cepelak

Contact Us

PREA Director's Office
Dave McNeil
945 Highland Ave
Cheshire CT, 06410

PREA Investigation Unit Hotline:

Additional Information on the Department of Correction PREA Unit can be found at:
PREA Unit page

Additional Resources