End Silence: The Project on Addressing Prison Rape

The Project on Addressing Prison Rape (The Project) is committed to eliminating sexual abuse for individuals in custodial settings. The Project is a leader in addressing the implications and implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) and its national standards. Since 2000, the Project has provided training, technical assistance and legal guidance for correctional agencies, advocates and survivors who want to effectively prevent, respond and eliminate sexual abuse in custodial settings.

Overall, the Project has four goals: (1) training; (2) technical assistance; (3) legal expertise regarding sexual abuse in custodial settings; and (4) providing guidance on issues correctional agencies and advocates face when addressing PREA and responding to sexual abuse in custodial settings.

Work in the Area of Sexual Abuse in Custodial Settings


The Project has conducted training for or in collaboration with:

  • 45 state leaders;
  • 30 county department of corrections;
  • 2 Native American jails ;
  • 2 territories -- Guam and Puerto Rico;
  • 2 federal agencies – the Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Prisons;
  • 20 juvenile agencies; and 15 community corrections agencies.

The Project has provided technical assistance to adult prisons and jails, juvenile agencies and community corrections on:

  • State criminal laws prohibiting the abuse of individuals in custody;
  • Investigations;
  • Immediate and ongoing medical care; and
  • Mental health care and confidentiality.

The Project has provided guidance, training and technical assistance or served as subject matter experts for professional organizations, as well as advocacy and legal groups, including:

  • The American Correctional Association;
  • The American Probation and Parole Association;
  • The American Jail Association;
  • Local Rape Crisis Agencies;
  • SANE Nurses;
  • State and local prosecutors; and
  • Federal prosecutors.

Our History

Since 2000, The Project, housed at American University Washington College of Law has been funded by government and private grantors to address and respond to sexual abuse of people in custody. The Project has continually provided training, technical assistance and legal guidance to high level corrections decision makers on key issues in addressing and responding to the Prison Rape Elimination Act.