Contact Us
En Español

Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)

En EspañolThe Department of Corrections (DOC) takes every report of sexual misconduct seriously and will thoroughly, promptly, and objectively investigate all allegations.

The DOC is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff and offenders. DOC has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct of any kind and will impose discipline for such misconduct, up to and including dismissal for staff and serious infractions for offenders who victimize other offenders. Incidents of sexual misconduct will also be referred to law enforcement when applicable.

DOC’s policies regarding sexual misconduct apply to all offenders, both incarcerated and on community supervision. They also apply to employees, contractors, and volunteers. For more information regarding PREA, reporting, and assisting those who may be victims of sexual misconduct, please read the Zero Tolerance: Family and Friends PREA Brochure.

PREA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

PREA Resources

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in correctional settings such as prisons, jails, lockups, juvenile facilities, and Immigration Services/ICE detention facilities. Sexual misconduct under this law includes:

  • Offender–on–offender sexual assault and abuse
  • Staff–on–offender sexual misconduct (sexual/inappropriate relationships with offenders)
  • Offender–on–offender and staff–on–offender sexual harassment

How do I report sexual misconduct?

DOC investigates all allegations of offender–on–offender and staff–on–offender sexual misconduct. You can report sexual misconduct in multiple ways:
  • If you have information regarding a DOC offender who has been the victim of sexual misconduct while under DOC custody or community supervision, please call: 1-800-586-9431 we also have: (TTY 844-242-1201).

Calls to this toll–free number in DOC Headquarters are recorded. Messages are checked Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by staff of the PREA Unit in DOC Headquarters.

You don’t have to give your name but it is critical that you provide as many details as possible. This includes:

  • The name(s) and locations of persons involved
  • The name(s) or description of any witnesses to the incident
  • DOC number (if an offender)
  • A brief description of the incident(s)
  • A brief description of where the event(s) occurred
  • The date(s), time and place of occurrence(s)
  • Names and contact information of others who might have additional information about the incident
  • Your contact phone number and address (optional)

You can report information regarding an offender or request additional information about PREA by:

  • Writing a letter to:
    • PREA
      PO Box 41131
      Olympia, WA 98504-1131
  • Sending an email to:

How do DOC offenders report sexual misconduct?

Offenders serving their sentence within a DOC facility are urged to report allegations of rape, sexual contact or staff sexual misconduct to the toll–free number (0-800-586-9431 from a prison facility or 1-800-586-9431 for offenders in work release or on community supervision). Offenders can also report by submitting a kite, a grievance, telling a trusted staff member, asking a family member or friend to call the hotline or by sending a written report to the PREA Unit in DOC Headquarters via legal mail.

What do I do if someone I know is being threatened or victimized?

The Office of Crime Victim Advocacy (OCVA) provides a confidential toll-free line for an offender to access support services if he or she, or someone he or she knows, has been the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse at any time. This line provides access to community-based confidential support services and is not a reporting line. To learn more about how an advocate may assist, please see their information sheet at Sexual Assault Support Services for Incarcerated Survivors.

PREA Advocate Confidentiality Summary provides RCWs references and exceptions.

Please review the Zero Tolerance: Family and Friends PREA Brochure for additional information.

How does the investigations process work?

Washington State Department of Corrections (WA DOC) has zero tolerance towards any form of sexual abuse or harassment in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). All allegations naming as victims any offender under the jurisdiction of WA DOC are thoroughly investigated.

Administrative Investigations

WA DOC conducts administrative investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, to include sexual harassment, promptly, thoroughly, and objectively. This includes all third–party and anonymous reports.

Staff who have received special training conduct these investigations as assigned by an Appointing Authority. Training includes interviewing sexual abuse victims, Miranda and Garrity warnings, evidence collection in confinement setting, and criteria required to substantiate a case for administrative action and prosecution referral. Investigators gather and preserve direct and circumstantial evidence, including any available electronic monitoring data, and interview alleged victims, suspected perpetrators, and witnesses. Appointing Authorities also review prior complaints and reports regarding alleged perpetrators and assess witness credibility prior to making decisions regarding these investigations. The credibility of an alleged victim, suspect, or witness is not be determined by the person’s status as offender or staff. Administrative investigations will also include an effort to determine whether alleged staff actions or failures to act contributed to the abuse.

WA DOC will not require an offender who alleges sexual abuse to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth–telling device.

Only the Appointing Authority can make investigation finding determinations after a thorough review of all physical and testimonial evidence included in the written investigation report.

Criminal Investigations

When the quality of evidence appears to support criminal activity, the Department will conduct compelled interviews only after consulting with Law Enforcement.

All sexual abuse cases will be referred for investigation by a Washington State certified law enforcement officer as defined in WAC 139–05–210 — Basic Law Enforcement certificate of Equivalency and RCW 9.46.210 Enforcement — Commission as a Law Enforcement Agency.

Law Enforcement agencies will document their findings in a written report that contains a thorough description of physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence and attached copies of all documentary evidence where feasible.

Law enforcement agencies will refer all applicable investigations to the Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Annual Report

WA DOC is committed to the provision of safe and secure facilities for offenders and staff. The Annual PREA Report is reflective of our obligation as public servants to meet our vision of “Working Together for Safer Communities”.

Audit Reports

PREA requires that each entity complete audits by Department of Justice certified audits in one-third of its facilities each year. Once finalized, the audit reports are then posted to the agency’s website for review.

During the 2013/2014 audit year, audits were completed at the following facilities. Their final audit reports are linked for your review.

  • Airway Heights Corrections Center 02/2015
  • Ahtanum View Work Release 11/2015
  • Bishop Lewis Work Release 07/2014
  • Brownstone Work Release 10/2015
  • Clallam Bay Corrections Center 06/2015
  • Cedar Creek Corrections Center 08/2014
  • Eleanor Chase House Work Release 10/2015
  • Helen B. Ratcliff Work Release07/2014
  • Larch Corrections Center 11/2015
  • Madison Inn Work Release 07/2014
  • Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women 08/2014
  • Olympic Corrections Center 06/2015
  • Peninsula Work Release 03/2015
  • Progress House Work Release 03/2015
  • Rap House ⁄ Lincoln Park Work 03/2015
  • Reynolds Work Release 07/2014
  • Stafford Creek Corrections Center 08/2014
  • Tri-Cities Work Release 11/2015
  • Washington Corrections Center 07/2015
  • Washington Corrections Center for Women 07/2014
  • Laws, Policies & Other Resources

    Department of Corrections (DOC) Policies

    Revised Code of Washington (RCW)

    Other Resources