Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law that was passed in 2003 with the purpose of eliminating sexual harassment and sexual abuse within correctional/detention facilities. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office and the Winnebago County Corrections Division are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff and offenders. To help accomplish this goal, we have implemented PREA policies and procedures for preventing, reporting, responding to, investigating and tracking incidents and allegations of sexual misconduct with both a zero tolerance for violators and with minimal exposure and embarrassment to the victim. Sexual misconduct against detainees/inmates, by another detainee/inmate, a staff member, contractor or volunteer is unacceptable under any circumstances—even in cases of consensual acts. These incidents are subject to administrative and disciplinary sanctions as well as possible criminal action.
All reports (including those made anonymously) of sexual misconduct are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated by specifically trained and qualified Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office investigators.
How to report detainee/inmate sexual harassment or abuse
Detainees/inmates are encouraged to report any incidents of sexual misconduct. Reports can be made by the following methods:
- Verbal report to a staff member (including medical staff, volunteers, etc.)
- Sick call requests
- ICE Detainee Request Form
- Written informal or formal requests or grievances
- By emailing [email protected]
- Grievance filed through the inmate kiosk
- Reports to family members, friends, other outside entities who can contact facility staff
Friends, family or other trusted persons can make a report either in person, in writing or by phoning (815)319-6780 and can be done without giving their name.
Providing as many details as possible will aid in the investigation. Please understand that without detailed information it is difficult to investigate a sexual abuse or sexual harassment situation. Information that should be provided includes:
- The name of the detainee/inmate who was victimized
- The name(s) of persons involved, include any identification numbers if known
- Brief description of the event(s) including: date, time and location where events occurred
- The name(s) of any witnesses
- Your contact information (optional)
If you would like any further information or have any questions regarding PREA and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office please call (815)319-6780.