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Staff sexual misconduct

“The purpose of this regulatory action is to set standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confinement facilities. Sexual violence, against any victim, is an assault on human dignity and an affront to American values” (p. 13100).

Provisions of these standards are broken down into parts covering “two distinct types of facilities: (1) Immigration detention facilities, which are overseen by ICE and used for longer-term detention of aliens in immigration proceedings or awaiting removal from the United States; and (2) holding facilities, which are used by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for temporary administrative detention of individuals pending release from custody or transfer to a court, jail, prison, other agency or other unit of the facility or agency” (p. 13101).

Sections of this final rule include: abbreviations; executive summary; estimated costs and benefits; background to sexual assault during custody; and a detailed discussion of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Standards comprising Part 115 of Title 6 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are: definitions; Subpart A—Standards for Immigration Detention Facilities—coverage, prevention planning, responsive planning, training and education, assessment for risk of sexual victimization and abusiveness, reporting, official response following a detainee report, investigations, discipline, medical and mental care, data collection and review, audits and compliance, and additional provision in agency policies; Subpart B—Standards for DHS Holding Facilities--containing the same paragraph designations but with regulations applicable to DHS holding facilities; and Subpart C—External Auditing and Corrective Action—scope of audits, auditor qualifications, audit contents and findings, audit corrective action plan, and audit appeals.

6 CFR Part 115: Standards To Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Confinement Facilities; Final Rule Cover

"Though many correctional agencies have taken steps to comply with PREA standards and create safer environments for individuals in their care, inmates in custody still face sexual abuse and harassment by staff or other inmates. Staff and inmates still report problems identifying those at risk of sexual abuse, reporting sexual abuse, and holding those responsible for sexual abuse accountable. This publication is a tool for educating inmates about legal and other mechanisms, including the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), that can provide protection and redress from sexual abuse in custodial settings" (p. 5). Sections of this handbook are: introduction; what the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is; the National PREA Standards—protections for inmates; dynamics of sexual abuse in custody—screening and victimization history, continuum of sexual activity in custodial settings, and inmate culture and code; reporting—deciding to report, how to report, and what happens after you report; sexual abuse—care and consequences; special populations—youthful inmates, and gender non-conforming inmates; inmates' rights and the law; and conclusion. The following are appended: glossary; state resources; frequently asked questions; and seeking legal assistance.

An End to Silence: Inmate's Handbook on Identifying and Addressing Sexual Abuse, 3rd Edition Cover

Critical issues related to staff sexual misconduct with offenders are discussed. Sections of this handbook are: introduction; the need to talk about this now; what staff sexual misconduct entails; consequences of staff sexual misconduct; how correctional environments enable sexual misconduct; victimization; communication, gender, and abuse histories; tools for defining and identifying inappropriate relationships with offenders; what happens when an allegation of staff sexual misconduct is made; what are your rights during a staff sexual misconduct investigation; the legal consequences; prevention; and conclusion. Also included is a copy of the "50 State Survey of Criminal Laws Prohibiting the Sexual Abuse of Individuals Under Correctional Supervision."

Breaking the Code Cover

“This is a summary report from a March 2013 forum sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women that was held with the intent of further defining partnerships, implementation issues, and determining what guidance would be useful. This report summarizes key issues and suggestions raised during the forum.” Sections of this document includes: framing the issues and challenges; potential promising practices; funding resources; Forum White Paper—“Rape Crisis Centers’ Response to Victims in Corrections” by Kristin Little; and survey results from correctional agencies and advocates.

Building Partnerships Between Rape Crisis Centers and Correctional Facilities To Implement the PREA Victim Services Standards Cover

“In the following, we review the literature relevant to the study of violence and safety in women’s prison. We begin with the demographic and background characteristics of female offenders. The pathways model is then described, which emphasizes the life experiences of women that contribute to criminal behavior. This review will then describe the subcultural elements of women’s prisons that influence vulnerabilities, victimization, and violence. The types and prevalence of violence in women’s prisons, particularly sexual assault, are also summarized. A summary of the National Inmate Survey, a PREA-mandated data collection that measures inmate self-reports is provided. This review then provides a summary of recent research by the authors that examines the context of gendered violence and safety in women’s correctional facilities and results from a project that sought to validate an instrument intended to measure women’s perceptions of safety and violence” (p. 1).

"This webinar focuses on the legal liability of agencies and staff when engaging in cross gender supervision and searches of people in custody." Topics discussed include: important factors for cross gender searches and supervision; the legal framework—Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards and DOJ guidance, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Prison Litigation Reform Act, Violence Against Women Act amendments, PREA exhaustion of administration remedies, Federal Torts Claims Act, U.S. Constitution claims, state claims, and international legal claims; forms of liability—municipal, official, individual, personal and qualified immunity; case law digest—issues raised by inmates, residents, or detainees—First Amendment, Fourth Amendment , Fourth regarding privacy, visual body cavity searches, pat downs (searches), and the Eighth Amendment; the impact of cross gender supervision and searches on youthful inmates; case law regarding employment—Title VII; women in corrections; men in corrections; gender non-conforming staff in corrections; and conclusions regarding the current state of the law.

Cross Gender Supervision and Legal Liability [Webinar] Cover

"This paper identifies and explains the applicable PREA Standards and requirements, along with other influencing factors that impact a facility’s development, documentation and implementation of a PREA-compliant facility staffing plan. It is important to note that while current or traditional staffing models are helpful to a facility when developing the required staffing plan, these traditional models were developed prior to the passage of PREA. Therefore, they are not necessarily PREA-informed or constructed with a “lens” focused on sexual safety. Furthermore, traditional staffing models typically have not taken into account the significance of gender as an influencing factor" (p. 3). Sections of this Staffing Plan White Paper cover: what a PREA-compliant staffing plan requires—facility-specific PREA requirements, and influencing facility-specific factors; how to develop a staffing plan or improve the one that exists; who needs to be involved in the drafting or assessment of the facility staffing plan; considerations regarding facility-specific PREA requirements; other considerations—use of video monitoring, security staff ratios in juvenile facilities, trauma-informed approaches, and gender considerations in staffing plan development at adult female and juvenile girls' facilities; additional requirements under "supervision and monitoring"—staffing plan review, unannounced rounds, and heightened protections for vulnerable detainees; and how a staffing plan will be audited.


Developing and Implementing a PREA-Compliant Staffing Plan Cover

This webinar is a great introduction for "correctional practitioners to a new resource for developing a PREA-compliant staffing plan, per standard §115.13/.113/.213/.313 … Topics for this webinar will include: Recommendations for approaching or improving a staffing plan with consideration of influencing factors; Facility-specific PREA requirements; Appropriate staff that should be involved in assessing and drafting the staffing plan; and Special considerations including the use of video monitoring, staffing ratios in juvenile facilities, supervision of vulnerable populations, and gender-specific considerations" (website). The webinar agenda is: welcome and opening remarks; background and context; introduction to the Staffing Plan Resource Guide; staffing plan requirements; influencing factors; how to develop a staffing plan; video monitoring, juvenile ratios, and gender; how a staffing plan will be audited; and question and answer period.

Developing and Implementing a PREA-Compliant Staffing Plan [Webinar] cover

This is an orientation video for new inmates. The film features experienced inmates and staff providing guidance based on the question "what do you wish you had known when you first got to prison" as part of DOCCS’ effort to prevent sexual abuse. The discussion includes information about what to do if you are sexually threatened or raped, and the sexual abuse investigation process. The film focuses on every inmate's right to be free from sexual victimization and provides tips to avoid the manipulation and tactics often used by the sexual predators within the prison system. The film emphasizes that inmates should report if they are abused or threatened, and distinguishes reporting abuse from "snitching." It also discusses the many ways a New York State inmate can report, discusses the importance of seeking medical attention right away, and emphasizes that every inmate has the right not to be sexually abused or harassed by other inmates or staff. Although the film itself can be very powerful, it is intended to be used as a tool to introduce this important topic. The film is used by trained staff and inmate peer educators to facilitate a conversation about DOCCS' sexual abuse and sexual harassment prevention polices." The accompanying Facilitator's Guide covers: an introduction; before the film; facilitating the film; film topic areas--discussion points; and after the film--questions and follow up.

Ending Sexual Abuse Behind the Walls: An Orientation Cover

State requirements for the registration of adult sex offenders are compiled and presented. Responses (if given) are reported for: registrable offenses; whether those individuals convicted of staff sexual misconduct need to register; information maintained in sex offender registry; community notification and website; limitations on residency or employment; and duration of registration.

Fifty State Survey Cover


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