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Hope Behind Bars: An Advocate's Guide to Helping Survivors of Sexual Abuse in Detention

Rape crisis advocates and other victim services providers need to read this publication. It is full of vital information these professionals need in order to address the needs of victims who have been sexually assaulted in a correctional facility. “This manual aims to help advocates take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity created by the PREA [Prison Rape Elimination Act] standards. It also seeks to anticipate some of the challenges that come with helping survivors who are incarcerated. While the core principles that underpin crisis services remain the same in any setting, many advocates have limited experience providing services inside prisons and jails. The manual addresses the ways in which detention facilities are culturally distinctive, how this culture can make it difficult to deliver services to inmates, and what advocates can do to overcome these obstacles” (p. 37).

Sections comprising this report are: introduction; an overview of sexual abuse behind bars; the importance of advocates; overcoming barriers to providing service behind bars; guiding principles to serving survivors in custody; hospital accompaniment for survivors; hotline services for inmates; prisoner correspondence; in-person services in detention settings; and conclusion.