Prison Rape: Ongoing Research and Future Directions

The National Institute of Justice began funding research on this subject almost immediately after passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Given the enormous task the Bureau of Justice Statistics faces in collecting incidence and prevalence data, NIJ sought complementary ways to examine rape in corrections.

NIJ's first steps were to ask corrections practitioners to help refine the issues and terminology and to define a research agenda. NIJ then awarded grants that responded to the needs of the field. Nine studies have been funded since 2003, covering the following topics:

  • Inmate perceptions of sexual violence and rape in adult prisons.
  • Prison rape policies and promising prevention programs.
  • Risk assessment instruments needed to identify potential victims and perpetrators.
  • The effects of victimization upon prisoner reentry into society.
  • Improved security in women's facilities.
  • Interventions designed to prevent sexual and physical violence in jails.

Results from these studies will be published when available; watch this Web page for new findings. To read the most recent solicitations (now closed), see expired solicitations under Funding Opportunities .

Date Created: November 5, 2007