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Specialized Training: Investigating Sexual Abuse in Confinement Settings

This training program “is designed to address the requirements outlined in the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standard 115.34/.134/.234/.334 requiring specialized training for individuals tasked with investigating alleged incidents of sexual abuse in confinement settings. Additionally, this curriculum contains the information fundamental to understanding the concepts required by PREA standard 115.34/.134/.234/.334 and best practice in investigating incidents of sexual abuse. Agencies with investigators who have extensive experience in investigating these and other types of allegations-such as law enforcement agencies-may want to review the curriculum for redundancy with other trainings.

“The curriculum is designed specifically for an audience of correctional investigators, although there is content within the curriculum that also would be beneficial to those who oversee investigations and those who act as first responders.

“The curriculum contains nine modules and includes content on PREA standards relating to investigations; case law demonstrating legal liability issues for agencies, facilities, and investigators to consider when working to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual harassment in confinement settings; proper use of Miranda and Garrity warnings; trauma and victim response; processes of a forensic medical exam; first-response best practices; evidence-collection best practices in a confinement setting; techniques for interviewing male, female, and juvenile alleged victims of sexual abuse and sexual harassment; report writing techniques; and information on what prosecutors consider when determining whether to prosecute sexual abuse cases.

“The nine modules and suggested training lengths are as follows: Introduction; Module 1: PREA Update and Standards Overview (1 hour 15 minutes); Module 2: Legal Issues and Liability (1 hour 15 minutes) and presentation slides; Module 3: Culture (1 hour, optional) and presentation slides; Module 4: Trauma and Victim Response (1 hour) and presentation slides; Module 5: Medical and Mental Health Care (1 hour 30 minutes, optional) and presentation slides; Module 6: First Response and Evidence Collection (2 hours) and presentation slides; Module 7: Adult Interviewing Techniques (2 hours 15 minutes) and presentation slides; Module 7: Juvenile Interviewing Techniques (2 hours 15 minutes) and presentation slides; Module 8: Report Writing (30 minutes) and presentation slides; Module 9: Prosecutorial Collaboration (1 hour, optional) and presentation slides.

“In total, the provided training is two days in length, although three of the modules, as noted above, are “optional” in that they do not contain content required by the PREA standards. All of the modules are designed to be modified by each facility and agency to include agency-specific policy and practice guidance in addition to best practice.”