Arlington Sheriff Wins Federal Certification for New Jail Safety Standards

  • First certified jail in National Capital Region
  • New federal standards established in 2012
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) became law in 2003

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Justice has recognized the Arlington County Detention Facility as the first jail in the National Capital Region to meet national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards.

The measures were established two years ago by a federal commission.

“This certification is a significant recognition of what we focus on every day – operating a safe and secure jail for our inmates and staff,” said Sheriff Beth Arthur. “We remain committed to the safety of our community.”

Earlier this month Department of Justice auditor completed a review of the Arlington County Detention Facility, which is managed and operated by Arlington County Sheriff's Office. The official looked at policies and practices within the Sheriff's Office, examined facility infrastructure and conducted extensive interviews of staff and inmates to assess overall organizational culture.


The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003 to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse that occurs in confinement settings. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission finalized national standards for facilities in June 2012.

All confinement sites covered under PREA standards must be audited every 3 years. These facilities include adult prisons and jails, juvenile facilities, lockups, and community confinement facilities, whether operated by the Department of Justice or a unit of a state, local, corporate or nonprofit authority.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.