Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) 2003 prohibits and seeks to eliminate sexual
assaults and sexual misconduct in correctional institutions. Sexual abuse
encompasses (1) inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse, (2) inmate-on-inmate sexual
harassment, (3) staff-on-inmate sexual abuse, and (4) staff-on-inmate sexual
It is the policy of the TDOC to provide a safe, humane and secure environment free
from threat of sexual abuse for all offenders in custody by maintaining a program of
prevention, detection, response, investigation and tracking of all alleged sexual abuse.
TDOC has a zero tolerance policy for incidences of sexual abuse within its facilities.
Download the Hay House PREA Policy
HHSE PREA Standards – PDF
TDOC has adopted the Department of Justice Title 28 Code of Federal Regulations
Part 115 National Standards to prevent, detect and respond to prison rape. Pursuant
to Tennessee criminal laws, the Tennessee Department of Correction is committed to
protecting offenders in its custody from sexual contact or sexual misconduct. TDOC
employs a PREA Coordinator charged with the responsibilities of developing,
implementing, and monitoring the department’s PREA programming and report
responsibilities. The department has dedicated this full-time position to serve as the
agency’s point of contact regarding all PREA-related matters. This position provides
consultation and guidance to facilities’ staff with respect to PREA implementation and
monitoring, as well as provide oversight of PREA training to staff. The PREA
Coordinator analyzes reported data and keeps prison officials briefed on developing
trends, lessons learned, and best practices for detection and prevention of sexual
assault and sexual misconduct.The Deputy Warden of each institution serves as the
facility PREA team leader.
Employee Awareness and Education
All employees receive training about the federal law, state law, and departmental policy
governing sexual contact with offenders.
All employees receive training concerning their duty to report rumors or allegations of
sexual assault or sexual misconduct, to whom they should report, how they should
report, and when they should report such incidents.
All employees receive training about how to detect an unreported incident of sexual
Vendors, contractors and volunteers authorized to have contact with offenders must
read the department’s zero-tolerance policy statement and sign to indicate agreement to
abide by its terms.
Offender Awareness and Training
Offenders receive written notice and training on how to avoid becoming a target for
Offenders receive notice in the offender handbook that sexual contact is strictly
prohibited and may be punishable by disciplinary action and criminal prosecution.
Offenders receive training on what to do if they have become a victim of sexual assault,
including the various reporting methods and how to preserve physical evidence.
Each facility has a free and confidential PREA TIP LINE to allow offenders to report
incidents of sexual abuse without fear of reprisal.
Offender Classification and Housing
TDOC is committed to providing safe environments for offenders in its custody.
All offenders receive a comprehensive evaluation during initial intake to identify risk
factors associated with sexual abuse and potential victimization.
Specialized instruments, one for males and one for females, screen for sexual
aggressive and sexual victimization tendencies. There is further evaluation during intake
using the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory with a focus on aggressor and
Offenders identified as aggressors or victims of sexual abuse are closely monitored and
all movements are coordinated across departments to prevent incidents.
Response to Sexual Assault or Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Employees have a duty to report all rumors and allegations of sexual abuse through the
chain of command.
Institutional Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART) ensure alleged victims of sexual
abuse receive immediate medical attention.
The facility SART ensures alleged victims of sexual abuse receive a mental health
All allegations of sexual abuse will be reported to Internal Investigators for investigation.
In addition to the facility PREA TIP lines, TDOC has established a TIP line for third-party
reporting of sexual abuse and sexual assault at 615.741.1000, extension 2828.
Investigation of Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct
The department is dedicated to producing quality investigations of alleged sexual abuse
All investigators receive specialized training specific to sexual assaults in correctional
The TDOC Law Enforcement Unit, in consultation with the department’s legal office,
aggressively refer substantiated cases of sexual assault by offenders or employees to
the local district attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.