PREA Investigations: What Happens After an Allegation

PREA Investigations: What Happens After an Allegation 

In 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) became a Federal law to address the prevention and elimination of sexual abuse and harassment in correctional facilities. In 2012, the PREA National Standards were approved by Federal Rule to provide correctional facilities with guidance on prevention and response strategies. This course will provide an overview of the role of the first responder when they observe or become aware of a sexual abuse or harassment situation and what steps are involved in criminal or administrative investigations into behaviors that violate PREA. The content in this course is applicable to correctional officers in adult and juvenile correctional facilities.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (2 Match)

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 1.50 STC credit hours.

Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training


This class has been accredited by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training for 1.50 hours of mandatory continuing education credit. Regarding any law enforcement concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices as might be taught, promoted, or otherwise espoused in outside schools or seminars, there is no intent, expressed or implied, that ‘accreditation’ indicates or in any way conveys ‘CLEET approval’ of such concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices, unless such approval is explicitly stated by CLEET.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PSC-0-PIWHAA
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2025
Learning Objectives:
Define sexual abuse and sexual harassment according to the standards of the Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Recall 6 responsibilities first responders have when they observe or become aware of an allegation of sexual abuse or harassment.
Identify the 2 types of investigations that may be conducted when a sexual abuse or harassment incident occurs or an allegation is made.
Identify the general steps in a PREA investigation and 4 roles first responders may play during the investigation process.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act

The Prison Rape Elimination Act

Purpose of PREA

The PREA National Standards

Who Must Follow the Standards?

Other Forms of PREA Standards

Definitions of Sexual Abuse and Harassment

Correctional Agencies Definitions



Section 3: First Responder at the Point of an Allegation

Officer Kale

Who is a First Responder?

Ways You May Receive Information About an Allegation

Responsibilities of a First Responder: Allegation of Sexual Abuse 

Responsibilities of a First Responder: Allegation of Sexual Harassment

First Responder Legal Liabilities

Officer Kale Revisited



Section 4: The Investigative Process

Types of PREA Investigations

State Law May Drive the Type of Investigation

Steps in a PREA Investigation

Sexual Harassment Investigations

First Responder Role in a PREA Investigation

What If I am the Subject of an Allegation?



Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributors




Instructor: Elizabeth Layman, B.S.
Elizabeth Layman's career includes nine years as a police officer/detective in Arlington, Virginia, including patrol, sexual assault investigations, and forensics. She was with the Florida Corrections and Florida Parole Commission for 16 years as a Parole Officer and Administrative Hearing Officer conducting hearings with thousands of inmate/detainees/detainees in prisons and jails. Additionally, she served as a special investigator for the Office of Florida Governor. Since 1998, Ms. Layman has been President of Price Layman, Inc., a criminal justice consulting firm. She has worked as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Justice, providing technical assistance and training on sexual misconduct and abuse for more than 300 jail administrators, corrections, and law enforcement agencies. Ms. Layman developed and delivers the following curricula: Training for Investigators of Staff Sexual Misconduct; The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003: Impact on Law Enforcement; co-authorship of Resource Guide for New Wardens; PREA – Policy Development Guide for Sheriffs and Chiefs, Staff Sexual Misconduct with Offenders: Policy Development Guide for Community Corrections; Preventing and Responding to Sexual Abuse in Tribal Detention Facilities. Ms. Layman continues to work across the country to assist with implementation of PREA. Ms. Layman has a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech. Disclosure: Elizabeth Layman, B.S. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Juvenile Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
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All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.