Location:
PRISONS AND PRISONERS; RAPE;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations; Program Description;

OLR Research Report


November 19, 2012

 

2012-R-0423

PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT

By: Christopher Reinhart, Chief Attorney

You asked how the Department of Correction's (DOC) policies compare to the requirements in state law and federal rules under the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

SUMMARY

The federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) created a National Prison Rape Elimination Commission to study the causes and consequences of sexual abuse in prison and develop standards to eliminate prison rape. It submitted its report to the U.S. attorney general in June 2009 including detailed standards to reduce sexual abuse of offenders in adult prisons and jails, juvenile detention facilities, facilities housing immigration detainees, lock-ups, and community corrections facilities.

State law requires DOC to adopt and comply with the applicable standards recommended by the commission for preventing, detecting, monitoring, and responding to sexual abuse. DOC was required do so by October 1, 2012 within available appropriations (PA 11-159, codified as CGS 18-81cc). This report compares the commission's recommendations with DOC directives and policies. DOC also provided some additional comments which are included in the report.

In the future, DOC must comply with rules the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued in May 2012 based on the commission's recommendations or risk losing 5% of the grant funds it would otherwise receive from DOJ for prisons. The state will not lose the funds if the governor certifies that the state will use the funds that would be lost to enable future compliance. States do not face the loss of funding until the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2013.

Since compliance with the federal rules is not yet required, we do not compare DOC's policies to the rules. In some instances, the federal rules may differ from the commission's recommendations. Thus, if there is a conflict between the two, DOC may not be able to comply with both.

BACKGROUND

State Law—PA 11-159

By October 1, 2012 and within available appropriations, PA 11-159 requires state and municipal agencies that incarcerate or detain adult offenders, including immigration detainees, to adopt and comply with the applicable standards recommended by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission for preventing, detecting, monitoring, and responding to sexual abuse. The act applies to agencies incarcerating adults in prisons, jails, community correction facilities, and lockups.

Standards. At a minimum, the act requires the agencies to adopt and comply with the commission's standards on:

1. zero tolerance of sexual abuse and notifying detainees, attorneys, contractors, and inmate workers of this policy;

2. contracting with other entities for the confinement of inmates or detainees;

3. supervising inmates or detainees and assessing and using monitoring technology;

4. heightened protection for vulnerable detainees;

5. limiting cross-gender viewing and searches;

6. accommodating inmates or detainees with special needs;

7. hiring and promotion decisions;

8. adopting evidence protocols and requiring forensic medical examinations;

9. reaching agreements with outside public entities, community service providers, outside law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors;

1. training employees, volunteers, and contractors;

1. educating inmates;

1. specialized training on investigations and medical and mental health care;

1. screening for risk of victimization and abusiveness, screening medical and mental health for the history of sexual abuse, and using screening information;

1. establishing reporting procedures for inmates, detainees, and third parties;

1. exhausting administrative remedies;

1. giving inmates access to outside confidential support services or legal representation;

1. establishing reporting duties of staff and facility or agency heads and requiring reporting to other facilities;

1. establishing first responder duties and coordinating responses;

1. protecting inmates and other detainees from retaliation;

1. establishing the duty to investigate incidents, providing for criminal and administrative investigation, and setting the evidence standard for administrative investigations;

1. establishing disciplinary sanctions for staff and inmates;

1. referring detainee-on-detainee sexual abuse for prosecution;

1. providing access to emergency medical and mental health services and ongoing medical and mental health care for sexual abuse victims and abusers;

1. reviewing sexual abuse incidents;

1. collecting and reviewing data for corrective action and providing for data storage, publication, and destruction; and

1. auditing the standards.

COMPARISON OF COMMISSION STANDARDS TO DOC POLICIES

Table 1 compares DOC policies (directives and comments) to the standards recommended by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, broken down by the categories used by the commission. In some instances, we do not have information from DOC to directly compare to a commission standard. In these instances, we leave a column blank.

Table 1: Comparison of Commission Standards to DOC Policies

Commission's Standards

DOC Policies

Prevention Planning

● Written zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse.

● Ensure all facilities comply with PREA.

DOC “shall maintain a zero tolerance policy on sexual assault that actively identifies and monitors any inmate who exhibits characteristics of a victim or predator. Each facility shall establish procedures for sexual assault prevention and intervention.”(AD 6.12)

● Designate a PREA coordinator.

DOC has designated the security division director as coordinator.

Any contract to confine inmates:

1. must be with entities following PREA standards and

2. comply with PREA.

DOC states that its contracts and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) under interstate compacts require PREA compliance.

● Provide supervision necessary to protect inmates from abuse.

● Upper management examines areas where abuse occurred and assesses (1) whether physical barriers enabled abuse and (2) the need for monitoring technology to supplement staff supervision.

● Take corrective action when identify problems.

● Staff make random tours of their areas and use video surveillance to increase coverage.

● Facilities must identify blind spots where the risk of a sexual assault is higher and develop ways to compensate (AD 6.12).

● Cross-gender strip searches or visual body cavity searches prohibited except in emergencies.

● Nonmedical staff restricted from cross-gender pat down searches and viewing inmates of the opposite sex nude or performing bodily functions.

● Make reasonable accommodations to provide same gender strip searches unless the search is essential, cannot be delayed, and same gender unavailable.

● Manual body cavity searches only by medical professionals supervised by a licensed physician. If security employees must be present, make reasonable accommodation to provide employees of the same gender. (AD 6.7)

● Medical searches to determine a transgender inmate's genital status permitted only in private when status unknown.

 

● Ensure inmates with limited English proficiency or who are deaf or disabled can report abuse to staff directly, through interpretive technology, or through non-inmate interpreters.

● Convey information about policies verbally to inmates with limited reading skills or visual impairments.

 

● Prohibit hiring or promoting people who engage in abuse in a facility or sexual activity in the community by force, threat, or coercion.

● Make best efforts to contact prior institutional employers for information on substantiated allegations of sexual abuse.

● Conduct criminal background checks for all applicants and employees being considered for promotion.

● Examine and carefully weigh any criminal history.

● Ask applicants and employees directly about previous misconduct during interviews and reviews.

● Applicants and staff must disclose any past criminal convictions or pending charges—failing to provide full and accurate information is cause to dismiss a current employee.

● Full background checks for candidates required.

● Candidates are precluded from applying for certain periods based on prior crimes or incarceration (AD 2.3).

● Use video monitoring systems and other technology.

● Assess, at least annually, the feasibility of and need for new or additional monitoring technology and develop a plan to obtain the technology.

● Facilities use video surveillance to increase coverage.

● Facilities must identify blind spots where the risk of a sexual assault is higher and develop ways to compensate (AD 6.12).

Response Planning

● Follow a uniform evidence protocol (adapted from federal protocols )to maximize usable physical evidence.

● Staff must treat the area of an attempted or actual sexual assault as a possible crime scene. Staff should not disturb it once the inmate is removed from the area.

● Staff must take pictures of the scene and suspected physical evidence and make sketches and notes of the cell and locations of removed items.

● Only authorized personnel can enter the area. State police collect physical evidence unless they direct DOC to do so (the directive specifies how to do so)(AD 6.12).

● Provide victims of inmate-on-inmate sexually abusive penetration or staff-on-inmate sexually abusive penetration access to forensic medical exams by qualified forensic medical examiners (free of charge) and allow a victim advocate to accompany the victim through the process.

A supervisor notified of a sexual assault must:

1. contact health services as soon as practical,

2. escort the victim to the health services unit for a private medical and mental health assessment as soon as possible,

3. take appropriate steps so that the victim is not left alone,

4. inform the victim of personnel available to cope with the situation, and

5. offer or make arrangements for the victim to speak with the facility's religious service representative (AD 6.12).

● Maintain or attempt to enter MOUs or other agreements with:

1. an outside public entity or office to receive and forward inmate reports of abuse to facility heads and

2. community service providers to (a) provide inmates with confidential emotional support services related to abuse and (b) help victims during their transition from incarceration to the community.

● Maintains copies of agreements or documents showing attempts to enter agreements.

DOC health services staff can refer inmates to the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS) when appropriate to provide additional counseling and support (AD 6.12).

It is unclear whether DOC has an agreement with CONNSACS or other organizations.

● Maintain or attempt to enter into a written MOU or other agreement with:

1. another agency if it conducts the criminal or administrative abuse investigations (this is not necessary if there is an existing agreement or long-standing policy);

2. the state or local services agency that can investigate abuse of vulnerable persons in prison, if the prison houses inmates under age 18 or other vulnerable people; and

3. the authority responsible for prosecuting criminal law violations.

State police must investigate, with the DOC security division assisting as appropriate and conducting an internal investigation. If the state police decline to investigate, the security director must forward the case to the district or unit administrator for investigation. If that investigation uncovers information that corroborates an inmate's allegation, the administrator must contact the state police and security director. Otherwise, the administrator sends his or her findings to the director (AD 6.12).

DOC states that in practice the security division investigates if the state police decline to do so and they contact the state police if the investigation uncovers sufficient evidence.

It is unclear whether DOC has an agreement with the state police or other organizations.

 

Training and Education

● Train all employees:

1. to fulfill their responsibilities regarding abuse prevention, detection, and response; PREA; and relevant law;

2. to communicate effectively and professionally with all inmates;

3. about an inmate's right to be free from sexual abuse and the right of inmates and employees to be free from retaliation for reporting sexual abuse; and

4. about the dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement and the common reactions of sexual abuse victims.

● Current employees receive training as soon as possible following the adoption of PREA standards .

A direct contact employee must be trained in sexual assault prevention and related topics (see AD 2.7 and 6.12).

Before being assigned to a facility, newly hired staff who will have direct inmate contact must receive training to:

1. have a general understanding of PREA,

2. identify sexual assaults in prisons,

3. identify the traits and characteristics of potential victims and predators,

4. identify rape trauma syndrome,

5. identify staff intervention practices, and

6. discuss crime scene preservation protocol for sexual assault (AD 6.12).

● All employees receive periodic refresher information.

Staff with direct inmate contact receive refresher training on sexual assault prevention each year (AD 6.12).

Each facility's unit administrator, in consultation with the health and addiction services director, updates staff as needed in roll call notices (AD 6.12).

● Volunteers and contractors with inmate contact are notified of the zero-tolerance policy and receive training based on the services they provide and their level of contact with inmates on:

1. their responsibilities,

2. the PREA standards,

3. relevant law, and

4. how to report abuse.

DOC states that PREA information is placed in all new and renewed MOUs.

● During intake, inform inmates of the zero-tolerance policy and how to report incidents or suspicions of sexual abuse.

● Within a reasonably brief period of time after intake, provide comprehensive education to inmates about:

1. the right to be free from abuse and retaliation for reporting abuse,

2. the dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement,

3. the common reactions of sexual abuse victims, and

4. agency sexual abuse response policies and procedures

● Educate inmates as soon as possible after adopting PREA standards and provide periodic refresher information.

● Use formats accessible to all inmates, including those with limited English proficiency or limited reading skills or who are deaf, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled.

An inmate's orientation on admission includes a video, “Sexual Assault Prevention for Inmates.” Inmates must sign a form acknowledging receipt of sexual assault materials (AD 6.12).

Inmates assigned to Northern Correctional Institution receive a handout on sexual assault and information on PREA and personal safety and meet with an orientation counselor to become familiar with the written materials (AD 6.12).

● Provide comprehensive training for investigators who conduct abuse investigations on:

1. how to conduct them in confinement settings, including techniques for interviewing victims;

2. proper use of warnings about the right to remain silent;

3. sexual abuse evidence collection in confinement settings; and

4. criteria and evidence required to substantiate a case for administrative action or prosecution referral.

DOC states it is in the process of complying with this provision.

● Train full- and part-time medical and mental health care practitioners on how to

1. detect and assess signs of abuse,

2. preserve physical evidence of abuse,

3. respond effectively and professionally to victims, and

4. report allegations or suspicions of abuse.

DOC states that the UConn Health Center, which provides health care services for the prisons, is responsible for this training.

Screening

● Screen inmates during intake, initial classification, and classification review to assess their risk of being sexually abused by other inmates or sexually abusive toward other inmates using a written screening instrument tailored to the gender of the population being screened.

During intake, staff determine through classification if an inmate has a victim or predator profile. Such a profile must be verbally reported to the shift commander or his or her designee.

DOC states that it is in the process of updating its policies for full PREA compliance.

● Screening must at least consider the following factors:

1. for male inmates for risk of victimization: mental or physical disability, young age, slight build, first incarceration, nonviolent history, prior conviction for a sex offense against an adult or child, sexual orientation, gender, prior sexual victimization, and the inmate's own perception of vulnerability;

2. for male inmates for risk of being sexually abusive: prior acts of sexual abuse and prior convictions for violent offenses;

3. for female inmates for risk of sexual victimization: prior sexual victimization and the inmate's own perception of vulnerability; and

4. for female inmates for risk of being sexually abusive: prior acts of sexual abuse.

Characteristics or traits that might subject an inmate to sexual assault include:

1. vulnerability,

2. non-violent nature,

3. young age or youthful appearance,

4. small physical stature,

5. first time incarceration or new to the facility,

6. being effeminate,

7. being homosexual or transgender,

8. engaging in promiscuous or provocative behavior,

9. lacking street smarts

10. having a mental illness or intellectual disability or deficit,

11. having a physical disability,

12. past sexual assault victimization, and

13. sex crime convictions (AD 6.12).

A predator:

1. does not necessarily perceive himself or herself as homosexual in a male on male or female on female sexual assault,

2. is often hypermasculine and uses aggression to gain a sense of importance, and

3. will watch and wait until the right type of inmate is accessible and create an opportunity to “groom” the inmate.

A predator's characteristics may include:

1. a violent history (street smart and experienced fighter),

2. a history of sexually assaulting inmates,

3. a history of being sexually assaulted,

4. a large physical stature,

5. being mentally challenged,

6. possessing power and authority (feared by inmates and staff),

7. experience in prison culture,

8. an antisocial personality,

9. being more verbal, aggressive, and extroverted (extremely self-confident),

10. being manipulative,

11. engaging in other criminal activity, and

12. objectifying women (using pornography and bartering with and manipulating other inmates with it) (AD 6.12).

DOC states that it is in the process of updating its policies for full PREA compliance.

● Screening instruments must be available to the public on request.

DOC states that is in the process of complying with this provision.

● Use screening information for housing, bed, work, education, and program assignments to separate inmates at high risk of being victimized from those at high risk of being abusive.

● Make individualized determinations about how to ensure the safety of each inmate.

● Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other gender-nonconforming inmates are not placed in particular facilities, units, or wings solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, genital status, or gender identity.

● Only place inmates at high risk for victimization in segregated housing as a last resort and only until arranging an alternative means of separation from likely abusers.

● To the extent possible, risk of sexual victimization should not limit access to programs, education, and work opportunities.

● Identify and track actual and alleged victims and predators.

● Inmates involved in sexual assaults must be separated.

● If the sex offender administrator identifies an inmate as an actual or potential predator, the inmate must be housed appropriately or transferred to another facility to separate the inmate from potential victims (AD 6.12).

Reporting

● Provide multiple internal ways for inmates to report abuse (in easy, private, and secure ways), retaliation by other inmates or staff for reporting abuse, and staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident of abuse.

● Provide at least one way to report abuse to an outside public entity or office not affiliated with the agency that will forward reports to the facility head (unless the inmate requests confidentiality).

● Require staff to accept reports verbally, in writing, anonymously, and from third parties and immediately put verbal reports into writing.

DOC has a PREA hotline.

● Inmates exhaust their administrative remedies regarding an abuse claim the earlier of when (1) the agency makes a final decision on the merits or (2) 90 days pass since the person reported the abuse.

● An inmate seeking immediate protection from imminent sexual abuse is considered to have exhausted administrative remedies 48 hours after notifying a staff member of his or her need for protection.

 

● Provide access to outside victim advocates for emotional support by giving inmates the contact information for local, state, or national victim advocacy or rape crisis organizations and enabling reasonable communication with these organizations.

● Communications are private, confidential, and privileged to the extent allowable by law and inmates should be informed in advance of the status of these communications.

Health services staff can refer inmates to CONNSACS when appropriate to provide additional counseling and support (AD 6.12).

● Receive and investigate all third-party reports of abuse and notify in writing the third-party and the inmate named in the report of the investigation's outcome.

● Distribute information on how to report sexual abuse on behalf of an inmate.

 

Official Response to Inmate Report

● Staff must immediately report any knowledge, suspicion, or information they receive regarding an incident of abuse in an institutional setting; retaliation against inmates or staff for reporting abuse; and staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident of sexual abuse or retaliation.

● Staff must not reveal any information related to a sexual abuse report to anyone other than those who need to know and in order to provide treatment, conduct an investigation, and make other security and management decisions.

● Staff must report alleged or actual sexual assault or victimization to a shift supervisor as soon as practical and follow the documentation requirements for reporting incidents. (AD 6.12)

● All employees must treat a sexual assault incident as confidential (AD 6.12).

● Staff must focus on identifying potential signs of victimization and intervene before an incident occurs. Staff must treat any observation of sexual activity as a potential sexual assault. Staff can gain awareness through:

1. observing a sexual assault in progress or sexual threats or pressure;

2. a victim's report;

3. another inmate's information;

4. discovering medical evidence during an examination;

5. overhearing inmates discussing an incident;

6. unlikely friendships that raise curiosity such as an older, more experienced inmate befriending a younger, less experienced inmate; and

7. an inmate displaying some characteristics of rape trauma syndrome (sleep difficulty, disturbed eating habits, symptoms specific to the attack, startled reactions, withdrawn, emotional expressions such as crying or shaking, isolation, or being overly alert)(AD 6.12).

● Medical and mental health practitioners must report abuse and inform inmates of their duty to report at the initiation of services, unless the law provides otherwise.

● The facility head must report an allegation to the designated state or local services agency under applicable mandatory reporting laws if a victim is under age 18 or considered a vulnerable adult.

Medical professionals and certain others are mandated reporters of child abuse (CGS 17a-101).

● A facility head who learns of an allegation of abuse at another facility must forward it to the other facility's head, who then must ensure an investigation occurs.

 

● If possible to collect physical evidence, the first security staff member responding to a report must (1) separate the alleged victim and abuser; (2) seal and preserve the crime scene; and (3) instruct the victim not to take actions that could destroy physical evidence, including washing, brushing his or her teeth, changing his or her clothes, urinating, defecating, smoking, drinking, or eating.

● If the first staff responder is a non-security staff member, he or she must instruct the victim not to take actions that could destroy physical evidence and then notify security staff.

Staff must treat the area of an attempted or actual sexual assault as a possible crime scene. Staff should not disturb it once the inmate is removed from the area. Staff must take pictures of the scene and suspected physical evidence and make sketches and notes of the cell and location if items are removed. Only authorized personnel can enter the area and state police collect physical evidence unless DOC is directed to do so (the directive specifies how to do so)(AD 6.12).

If a staff member suspects or an inmate alleges he or she or another inmate suffered a sexual assault or victimization, must

1. if necessary, identify, separate, and secure the inmates involved;

2. identify the crime scene and maintain its integrity for evidence gathering;

3. notify a shift supervisor of the incident as soon as practical;

4. prevent involved inmates from showering, washing, drinking, eating, defecating, or changing underwear until examination; and

5. document the incident

(AD 6.12).

The supervisor must (1) contact the facility duty officer, state police, and health services as soon as practical and (2) complete incident reports as required by the directives (AD 6.12).

● Staff first responders, medical and mental health practitioners, investigators, and facility leadership must coordinate their response to an incident to ensure:

1. victims receive necessary immediate and ongoing medical, mental health, and support services and

2. investigators are able to obtain evidence to substantiate allegations and hold perpetrators accountable.

A supervisor notified of a sexual assault must:

1. contact health services as soon as practical,

2. escort the victim to the health services unit for a private medical and mental health assessment as soon as possible,

3. take appropriate steps so that the victim is not left alone,

4. inform the victim of personnel available to cope with the situation, and

5. offer or make arrangements for the victim to speak with the facility's religious service representative (AD 6.12).

A number of directives cover medical and mental health services (AD chapter 8).

● Protect inmates and staff who report abuse or cooperate with investigations from retaliation by other inmates or staff.

● Use multiple protection measures, including housing changes or transfers for inmate victims or abusers, removal of alleged staff or inmate abusers from contact with victims, and emotional support services for inmates or staff who fear retaliation for reporting sexual abuse or cooperating with investigations.

● Monitor the conduct and treatment of inmates or staff who report abuse or cooperate with investigations, including inmate disciplinary reports and housing, or program changes, for at least 90 days to see if any changes suggest possible retaliation by inmates or staff.

● Discuss any changes with the inmate or staff member as part of efforts to determine if retaliation is taking place and, when confirmed, immediately take steps to protect the inmate or staff member.

General DOC policies require protective custody housing for inmates who require protection from other inmates to reduce a substantial risk to the inmate's personal safety (AD 9.9). Other policies, such as those governing inmate classification, may result in separating certain inmates.

Investigations

● Investigate all allegations of abuse, including third-party and anonymous reports.

● Notify victims and other complainants in writing of investigation outcomes and any disciplinary or criminal sanctions, regardless of the source of the allegation.

● Complete all investigations regardless of whether the alleged abuser or victim remains at the facility.

State police must investigate with the DOC security division assisting as appropriate and conducting an internal investigation. If the state police decline to investigate, the security director must forward the case to the district or unit administrator for investigation. If that investigation uncovers information that corroborates an inmate's allegation, the administrator must contact the state police and security director. Otherwise, the administrator sends his or her findings to the director (AD 6.12).

DOC states that in practice the security division investigates if the state police decline to do so and they contact the state police if the investigation uncovers sufficient evidence.

● Investigations must be prompt, thorough, objective, and conducted by trained investigators.

● The facility must keep up-to-date on and cooperate with investigations by outside agencies.

● Investigations must begin and end within timeframes set by the facility's highest-ranking official and he or she must approves the final investigative report.

● Investigators must gather direct and circumstantial evidence, including physical and DNA evidence when available; interview alleged victims, suspected perpetrators, and witnesses; and review prior complaints and reports of abuse involving the suspected perpetrator.

● Contact prosecutors when the evidence appears to support criminal prosecution to determine whether compelled interviews may be an obstacle to criminal prosecution.

● Base investigative findings on the evidence and its probative value.

● Assess a victim's, suspect's, or witness's credibility on an individual basis and not by the person's status as inmate or staff.

● Determine whether staff negligence or collusion enabled the abuse.

● Document administrative investigations in writing including a description of the physical and testimonial evidence and the reasoning behind credibility assessments.

● Document criminal investigations in writing with a thorough description of physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence and a proposed list of exhibits.

● Refer substantiated allegations that appear to be criminal for prosecution.

General DOC policies govern investigations (AD 1.10).

● Allegations of sexual abuse are substantiated if supported by a preponderance of the evidence.

 
   

Discipline

● Staff discipline for violating abuse policies can include termination, which is the presumptive discipline for engaging in sexually abusive contact or penetration.

● Report any terminations for violating abuse policies to law enforcement agencies and relevant licensing bodies.

DOC's general policies govern investigations and employee discipline (AD 1.10 and 2.6). Among others, the following employee actions “normally” result in dismissal:

1. conviction of a misdemeanor on duty or any felony,

2. abusive conduct toward an inmate,

3. deliberate violation of law or DOC rule (depending on the severity or place of occurrence), and

4. an inappropriate relationship or undue familiarity with an inmate (AD 2.6).

● Inmate discipline is imposed after a formal disciplinary process following an administrative ruling or a criminal finding that the inmate engaged in inmate-on-inmate sexual abuse.

● Sanctions must be commensurate with the nature and circumstances of the abuse, the inmate's disciplinary history, and the sanctions for comparable offenses by other inmates with similar histories.

● The disciplinary process must consider whether an inmate's mental disabilities or mental illness contributed to his or her behavior when determining what type of sanction, if any, should be imposed.

● Possible sanctions can include interventions to address and correct underlying reasons or motivation for abuse, such as therapy, counseling, or other programs.

 
 

Medical and Mental Health Care

● Qualified medical or mental health practitioners ask inmates about prior sexual victimization and abusiveness during medical and mental health reception and intake screenings.

● Practitioners refers for treatment, based on professional judgment, an inmate who discloses prior sexual victimization or abusiveness, whether in an institutional setting or in the community.

● Information about sexual victimization or abusiveness in an institution must be strictly limited to medical and mental health practitioners and other staff to inform treatment plans and security and management decisions, including housing, bed, work, education, and program assignments.

● Medical and mental health practitioners must obtain informed consent from inmates before reporting information about prior sexual victimization that did not occur in an institutional setting, unless the inmate is under age 18.

 

● Sex abuse victims must have timely, unimpeded access to emergency medical treatment and crisis intervention services, as determined by medical and mental health practitioners in their professional judgment.

● Treatment services must be free of charge regardless of whether the victim names the abuser.

● If a qualified medical or mental health practitioner is not on duty when a report is made, security staff first responders must protect the victim and immediately notify the appropriate medical and mental health practitioner.

Staff must refer victims to qualified mental health professionals for treatment and follow-up, as necessary (AD 6.12).

● The facility must provide ongoing medical or mental health evaluation and treatment to all known sex abuse victims including follow-up services, treatment plans, and referrals for continued care following release from custody.

● The level of medical and mental health care must match the care generally accepted by the medical and mental health professional communities.

● The facility conducts a mental health evaluation of all known abusers and provides treatment, as deemed necessary by qualified mental health practitioners.

Staff must refer victims to qualified mental health professionals for treatment and follow-up, as necessary (AD 6.12).

 

Data Collection and Review

● The facility must treat all instances of sexual abuse as critical incidents to be examined by a team of upper management officials, with input from line supervisors, investigators, and medical and mental health practitioners.

● The review team identifies needed changes to policy or practice to better prevent, detect, and respond to incidents. If the team determines an incident was motivated by racial or other group dynamics at the facility, upper management officials notify the agency head and take steps to rectify the underlying problems.

● The sexual abuse incident review takes place at the conclusion of every sexual abuse investigation, unless the allegation was determined to be unfounded.

● The review team reports its findings and recommendations for improvement to the facility head.

Document all sexual assaults according to the directives on incident reporting.

The security division must track all allegations of sexual misconduct; their investigation; and actions taken on them by DOC, the state police, and the courts (AD 6.12).

DOC states that it does not have a review team but the security division conducts reviews. Recommendations for improvements come from the investigator. DOC is reviewing these provisions.

● The agency collects accurate, uniform data for every reported incident using a standard instrument and definitions.

● The agency aggregates the data at least annually.

● The data must include all that is necessary for the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) survey on sexual violence.

● Data are obtained from multiple sources, including reports, investigation files, and sexual abuse incident reviews.

● The agency also obtains incident-based and aggregated data from every facility with which it contracts for the confinement of its inmates.

Data is collected monthly within DOC along with other statistics. Sexual assaults are categorized as (1) alleged sexual assault, (2) abusive sexual contact, (3) nonconsensual sexual act, (4) staff sexual harassment of inmate, or (5) staff sexual misconduct toward inmate.

DOC must provide annual sexual assault statistics to the BJS for all of the categories above except alleged sexual assaults (AD 6.12).

● The agency reviews, analyzes, and uses data to assess and improve the effectiveness of policies, practices, and training; identify problem areas, including any racial dynamics underpinning patterns of sexual abuse; takes corrective action on an ongoing basis; and, at least annually, prepares a report of its findings and corrective actions for each facility as well as the agency as a whole.

● The annual report also compares the current year's data and corrective actions with those from prior years and assesses the agency's progress in addressing sexual abuse.

● The agency head approves the report, submits it to the legislature, and makes it publicly available on the agency website (or other means if it does not have one).

● The agency may redact specific material from the reports when publication would present a clear and specific threat to the safety and security of a facility, but it must indicate the nature of the material redacted.

 

● The agency must ensure the data's storage, security, retention, and protection.

● Aggregate data from facilities under its direct control and those with which it contracts must be readily available to the public at least annually through the agency's website (or other means if it does not have one) after removing all personal identifying information.

● The agency must keep data for at least 10 years after its initial collection unless the law allows for the disposal of official information in less time.

DOC states that it is reviewing these provisions for compliance.

Audits

● The agency must ensure that independent and qualified auditors measure PREA compliance at all of its facilities, including contract facilities, at least every three years. The auditor must be allowed to enter and tour facilities, review documents, and interview staff and inmates, as deemed appropriate by the auditor, to conduct comprehensive audits.

● The agency must ensure that the auditor's report and the agency's plan for corrective action are published on the appropriate agency's website (or otherwise make it available if it has none).

DOC states that it is reviewing these provisions for compliance.

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