Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law that prohibits sexual misconduct in correctional settings such as prisons, jails, lockups, juvenile facilities, and INS detention facilities. Sexual misconduct under this law includes:
- Inmate-on-Inmate sexual assault and abuse
- Staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct (sexual/inappropriate relationships with inmates)
- Inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual harassment
The Cowlitz County Jail is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff and inmates. Cowlitz County has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct of any kind and will impose discipline for such misconduct, up to and including dismissal for staff and serious infractions for inmates who victimize other inmates. Incidents of sexual misconduct will also be referred to law enforcement when applicable. Cowlitz County's policies regarding sexual misconduct apply to all inmates. They also apply to employees, contractors, and volunteers.
How do I Report Sexual Misconduct?
The Cowlitz County Jail investigates all allegations of inmate–on–inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct. You can report sexual misconduct in multiple ways:
If you have information regarding a Cowlitz County inmate who has been the victim of sexual misconduct while under Cowlitz County custody, please call: (360) 577-1206
Messages are checked Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by staff of the Cowlitz County Sheriff's office.
You do not have to give your name but it is critical that you provide as many details as possible. This includes:
- The name(s) and locations of persons involved
- The name(s) or description of any witnesses to the incident
- inmates number (if an inmate)
- A brief description of the incident(s)
- A brief description of where the event(s) occurred
- The date(s), time and place of occurrence(s)
- Names and contact information of others who might have additional information about the incident
- Your contact phone number and address (optional)
You can report information regarding an inmate or request additional information about PREA by: Writing a letter to:
1935 1st Avenue
Fill out our online form: Report Sexual Abuse
How do Cowlitz County inmates Report Sexual Misconduct?
Inmates serving their sentence at the Cowlitz County Jail are urged to report allegations of rape, sexual contact or staff sexual misconduct to the hotline at 7732 from a facility phone. Inmates can also report by submitting a kite, a grievance, telling a trusted staff member, asking a family member or friend to call the hotline or by sending a written report to the PREA unit via legal mail.
What do I do if someone I know is being threatened or victimized?
Please report it. The only way we can help is if somebody speaks up. Sexual abuse of any kind is wrong and never tolerated. We will investigate all cases of sexual abuse.
Each year Cowlitz County will publish an annual report regarding PREA-related incidents along with plans to improve prevention, detection, and investigation activities. Our first report is being developed and will be posted to this portion of the website as soon as it is completed.