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Prison Rape Elimination Act Sexual Abuse / Assault Prevention and Intervention.

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Presentation on theme: "Prison Rape Elimination Act Sexual Abuse / Assault Prevention and Intervention."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prison Rape Elimination Act Sexual Abuse / Assault Prevention and Intervention

2 The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 was enacted by Congress to address the problem of sexual abuse by persons in custody of U.S. correctional agencies. PREA addresses all types of sexual assaults in prisons and jails, but its main focus is to target and eliminate offender-on-offender sexual assaults. PREA applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities, and community settings. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections does not tolerate any type of sexual misconduct involving offenders or staff.

3 Wisconsin DOC Administrative Code prohibits sexual intercourse, contact or conduct between offenders. Sexual assaults between staff and offenders violates federal and state law, including the 8 th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, DOC policy as well as Wisconsin State statues Violators are subject to Departmental Discipline as well as prosecution punishable by prison sentence and fines.

4 How Does PREA Apply to our Facility PREA seeks to ensure that jails and other correctional settings protect offenders from sexual assault, sexual harassment, “consensual sex” with employees, and inmate-inmate sexual assault. These violations affect security and staff safety, and pose long-term risks to offenders and staff inside jails, and to the public when victimized offenders are released into the community.

5 PREA requires jails to keep data regarding inmate-inmate sexual assaults, nonconsensual sexual acts, and staff sexual misconduct.

6 We have no reports of staff sexual misconduct or inmate-inmate sexual assaults. Why should I be concerned about PREA? Jails, large and small, around the country are not immune to staff sexual misconduct and inmate-inmate sexual assault. Some jails may find that they don’t receive reports about incidents because of a lack of training, a strong “code of silence,” or unclear or compromised reporting mechanisms for employees and offenders.

7 What about offenders who either manipulate the system using PREA or make false allegations against staff. Understandably concerns that addressing PREA-related issues in policy and procedure, and educating offenders of their rights to be safe while incarcerated, may result in offenders wrongly accusing staff or other offenders of misconduct. Experience has shown that there may be an initial spike in reporting, or reports that “test” the system. However, this usually stops when both staff and offenders realize that there will be through and timely investigations –of all offenders-and consequences for staff and offenders who make false reports.

8 What is sexual misconduct? There are various forms of sexual misconduct. Offender on offender Sexual Assault/Conduct is one or more offenders engaging in, or attempting to engage in, a sexual act with another offender, or the use of threats, intimidation, inappropriate touching, or other actions and/or communications by one or more offenders aimed at coercing and/or pressuring another offender to engage in a sexual act.

9 Offender on Staff Sexual Assault Is any type of sexual assault that is defined by Wisconsin State statutes. Offenders who sexually assault staff members will be prosecuted criminally and are also subject to disciplinary sanctions.

10 Offender on Offender Sexual Conduct Is any type of consensual sexual activity between offenders. Sexual acts or contacts between offenders, even when no objections are raised, are prohibited acts. Both parties engaged in Sexual Conduct may be found guilty of an offense and receive a disciplinary sanction.

11 Staff on Offender Sexual Assault Is a staff member engaging in, or attempting to engage in, a sexual act or sexual conduct with any offender or the staff member intentionally touching an offender’s genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, the offender or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. A pat search of an offender conducted in conformity with DOC procedures does not constitute sexual abuse or assault.

12 Staff on Offender Sexual Conduct Is sexual behavior between a staff member and offender which can include, but is not limited to, indecent, profane or abusive language or gestures, inappropriate visual surveillance of offenders, making sexually offensive comments or gestures, engaging in physical conduct of a sexual nature with an offender, or any solicitation of sexual activity through promises of favors or threatening an offender for refusing sexual advances, including influencing, promising, or threatening an offender’s safety, custody, privacy, housing, privileges, work detail or program status in exchange for sexual favors.

13 Employee Code of Conduct Applies to all employees of the La Crosse County Juvenile Detention Facility Addresses the following (in relation to sexual misconduct with youth): –Language –Engaging in unwelcome communication –Truthfulness –Take appropriate precautions to prevent allegations of sexual misconduct –Maintain professional relationship with residents –Abuse of residents is not tolerated –Cooperation during investigations

14 Professional Relationship is defined as Not doing the following with residents –Loaning of personal belongings –Entering into business relationship –Give special privileges unless earned –Accept a bribe or payment –Lend money –Enter into a dating or sexual relationship with a past or committed youth under 18 years of age –Enter into a dating or sexual relationship with someone who is under DOC care who is over 18 –Having to personal of conversation –Unnecessary touching

15 The impact of sexual misconduct in correctional environments is harmful to an organization, the public and the offenders as it: Jeopardizes facility and operational security; Can violate the constitutional rights of residents; Exposes the entire agency and staff to civil and criminal liability; Creates a hostile work environment; Destroys trust among staff and residents; Corrupts professionals by inviting dishonesty and compromise;

16 Reflects poorly on the dedicated professionals who work in corrections; Victimizes those already vulnerable due to their susceptibility to inappropriate behavior, their history of abuse, and their subordinate position; Is illegal and; Undermines the public support and trust of the agency, facility and staff.

17 When is it an “incident”? A verbal or written statement of a resident or someone in a position to have knowledge of the incident through direct or indirect observation Discovering an incident after it occurs Observing injuries (physical, emotional or mental) to a resident Or otherwise becoming aware of an incident

18 What action needs to be taken? You must immediately protect the resident from possible further incidents of misconduct Notify a supervisor Get witness statements Write a report

19 Then What? An investigation will ensue Cooperate fully with any investigation.


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