PREA Auditor Requirements and Process
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standard §115.402 specifies that audits shall be conducted by “(1) a member of a correctional monitoring body that is not part of, or under the authority of, the agency (but may be part of, or authorized by, the relevant State or local government); (2) a member of an auditing entity such as an inspector general’s or ombudsperson’s office that is external to the agency; or (3) other outside individuals with relevant experience.”
Standards 115.401(c) and (d) require that an auditor cannot have “received financial compensation from the agency being audited (except for compensation received for conducting prior PREA audits) within three years prior to the agency’s retention of the auditor,” and the agency cannot “employ, contract with, or otherwise financially compensate the auditor for three years subsequent to the agency’s retention of the auditor, with the exception of contracting for subsequent PREA audits.”
Beyond these requirements, the qualifications to become a certified PREA auditor are as follows.
Clarification of the meaning of “with the facility type or set of standards in which the applicant seeks certification(s)”: In addition to applicants who are employed by a corrections, detention, or relevant law enforcement agency or facility, PREA auditor training and certification are also open to applicants with related work experience in the justice system in which exposure to confinement agency or facility operations, and contact with relevant offender populations are regular components of the position or role. Such positions and roles include, but are not limited to, work in:
Individuals must complete an online application, including submission of a current resume/curriculum vitae; two letters of reference; and copies of transcripts from an accredited school or a letter from an academic institution confirming the applicant's highest diploma, degree, or academic achievement. In addition to reference letters, PRC also accepts letters from agency or facility leadership. If your jurisdiction is developing circular audit arrangements with other jurisdictions or if your leadership supports your candidacy as part of the effort to build internal PREA auditing capacity, then you may upload a letter of support from your agency executive on agency letterhead as part of your application. Note that agency-supported applicants must meet the same qualifications as any other applicant in order to qualify for PREA auditor training and certification. Agency support does not replace any other qualification requirements.
Selected applicants will be invited to attend a PREA audit certification training. Each training class is 40 hours, Monday through Friday, generally 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All travel, lodging, and meal costs associated with attending the PREA audit certification training are the responsibility of the applicant. There is no fee associated with attending or participating in the training course itself.
Trainings will be held in San Diego, CA in March, May, and September of 2015. PRC anticipates that one additional training will be provided in 2016. The tentative dates and location, pending DOJ conference approval, are May 15-20, 2016 at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Harrisburg, PA.
In the event that there are more applicants for each training event than seats available, invitations will be issued to develop and enhance a broad and diverse pool of certified auditors with consideration given to factors such as: geographic location, auditor availability, professional qualifications, and which set of PREA standards/type of facility each applicant will be certified to audit.
Applicants selected for a training spot will be notified via email and must accept the offer within five business days. Full details will be provided via email to all invited applicants. If you wish to be considered for an upcoming training to become a US Department of Justice-certified PREA auditor, click here to access the secure auditor application portal.
Note: The application for 2015 auditor trainings is now closed. The PRC will announce on its website and via newsletter when the application portal is re-opened for the 2016 auditor training, tentatively scheduled for May 15-20, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA.
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