Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Policy
It is the policy of the Merrimac Center to fully comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 and the National Standards promulgated by the United States Department of Justice to prevent, detect and respond to prison rape under PREA, and to provide a safe, humane and secure environment for all residents free of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
PREA is a federal law established to support the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in correctional systems, including juvenile facilities. PREA addresses both resident-to-resident sexual assault and staff-to-resident sexual assault. Merrimac Center maintains a zero tolerance policy for resident-on resident sexual assault, staff sexual misconduct and sexual harassment towards residents (115.311). Every allegation of sexual assault, misconduct and harassment is thoroughly investigated, and all reports of sexual assault are referred to the James City County Police Department for criminal investigation.
When a resident first enters our intake area, a comprehensive educational process is started to provide initial and ongoing education explaining their rights to be free from sexual abuse and harassment. An assessment is conducted on all residents at the time of intake to determine their individual risk of victimization or predation using an objective measurement tool based on specific risk factors.
Merrimac Center has been PREA certified since 2016
To ensure that sexual misconduct is reported, Merrimac Center has several ways for parents and third parties (such as staff members, family members, attorneys, fellow residents or any other interested party) to report (115.322, 115.354). You may use the reporting method with which you are most comfortable.