At its most basic, Standard 115.15/115.115/115.215/115.315 has three parts.
- All cross-gender strip and body cavity searches are prohibited except in exigent circumstances. For prisons, jails, and community confinement facilities, the standard also disallows the use of cross-gender pat searches for female inmates and residents. The juvenile facility standard, 115.315, further prohibits cross-gender pat searches of both male and female residents except in exigent circumstances.
- Opposite-gender staff members must “knock and announce” when entering a housing unit. More generally, facilities are required to implement policies and procedures that enable inmates, detainees, and residents to shower, perform bodily functions, and change clothing without nonmedical staff of the opposite gender viewing their breasts, buttocks, or genitalia, except in exigent circumstances or when such viewing is incidental to routine cell checks.
- Intrusive searches for the purpose of determining gender for transgender or intersex inmates, detainees, or residents are prohibited.
In order to mitigate agency burdens for implementing the staffing changes that the PREA standards may require for jails, prisons, and community confinement facilities, DOJ has provided that agencies will have additional time to comply with this particular standard (August 2015, or August 2017 for facilities whose rated capacity is less than 50 inmates). For more on this issue, please visit the PRC FAQ page.