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Standards for the Prevention Detection Response and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities, NPREC, 2008

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STANDARDS FOR THE PREVENTION,
DETECTION, RESPONSE, AND
MONITORING OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN
JUVENILE FACILITIES

STANDARDS FOR THE PREVENTION,
DETECTION, RESPONSE, AND
MONITORING OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN
JUVENILE FACILITIES

PREFACE
Ours has been a daunting task, albeit a deeply motivating and compelling one—to provide the
President, members of Congress, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Health and Human
Services with national standards by which to detect, prevent, reduce, and punish prison rape.
As we submit these standards to the Attorney General for review and approval, I and my colleagues on the Commission believe that they are as urgently needed now as they were in 2003
when Congress mandated this groundbreaking project as part of the Prison Rape Elimination
Act. Sexual abuse of incarcerated individuals remains a persistent problem, with life-altering
consequences for victims, for the integrity of correctional institutions, and for fundamental
principles of justice. We discuss the problem in great detail in our report; this standards document and its companion volumes are our blueprint for lasting nationwide change.
The standard’s development process benefited from, and indeed could not have happened
without, the contributions of dozens of private and governmental organizations and more
than 400 individuals—corrections professionals, academics, researchers, practitioners, and
survivors of sexual abuse in confinement—who provided testimony at hearings, advice at expert committee and stakeholder meetings, and input during an extensive public comment
period. In finalizing these standards and incorporating their expertise, our discussions have
been long and lively and our debates rigorous. We are particularly grateful for the insights and
lessons learned from early reformers—corrections professionals who have been working to
prevent sexual abuse in their facilities since long before the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and who continue to do so.
Each set of standards has been customized to ensure validity for particular conditions of confinement. The members of the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission are confident
that the implementation of these national standards can have a substantial and salutary effect
on the safety of prisons, jails, lockups, immigration detention centers, juvenile detention facilities, and community correctional facilities.
We are proud to entrust the enactment and implementation of these standards to the many
capable policymakers and professionals who will now take up the torch. It has been an honor
for us to play a part in the elimination of sexual abuse in confinement. A just and civil society
should strive for nothing less.

The Honorable Reggie B. Walton, Chair

Preface

iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. .............................................................................................................................................. 1
GLOSSARY. ........................................................................................................................................................... 3
I. PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PLANNING........................................................................................ 9
PREVENTION PLANNING (PP) ............................................................................................................................... 9
PP-1: Zero tolerance of sexual abuse. ................................................................................................................ . 9
PP-2: Contracting with facilities for the confinement of residents................................................. 10
PP-3: Resident supervision ...................................................................... ..................................................... ........ 10
PP-4: Limits to cross-gender viewing and searches.................... . .................................................... ........ 11
PP-5: Accommodating residents with special needs. ............... ..................................................... ........ 13
PP-6: Hiring and promotion decisions. .. ........................................................................................................ 13
PP-7: Assessment and use of monitoring technology. .......................................................................... 15
RESPONSE PLANNING (RP) . .................................................................................................................................. 15
RP-1: Evidence protocol and forensic medical exams.. .......................................................................... 15
RP-2: Agreements with outside public entities and community service providers.............. 17
RP-3: Agreements with outside law enforcement agencies. .............................................................. 18
RP-4: Agreements with the prosecuting authority... .............................................................................. 19
II. PREVENTION.. ............................................................................................................................................ . 21
TRAINING AND EDUCATION (TR) .. ................................................................................................................. 21
TR-1: Employee training.. ........................................................................................................................................ 21
TR-2: Volunteer and contractor training. ..................................................................................................... 22
TR-3: Resident education..................................................................................................................................... .. 23
TR-4: Specialized training: Investigations.... .................................................................................................. 24
TR-5: Specialized training: Medical and mental health care... ........................................................... 26
ASSESSMENT AND PLACEMENT OF RESIDENTS (AP) . ........................................................................ 27
AP-1: Obtaining information about residents.... ........................................................................................ 27
AP-2: Placement of residents in housing, bed, program, education,
and work assignments..... .......................................................................................................................... 28
III. DETECTION AND RESPONSE. . ........................................................................................................... 31
REPORTING (RE) ... ........................................................................................................................................................ 31
RE-1: Resident reporting... ...................................................................................................................................... 31
RE-2: Exhaustion of administrative remedies. ............................................................................................ 32
RE-3: Resident access to outside support services and legal representation...... ...................... 33
RE-4: Third-party reporting.. ................................................................................................................................ 35

Table of Contents

v

OFFICIAL RESPONSE FOLLOWING A RESIDENT REPORT (OR) . 36
OR-1: Staff and facility head reporting duties.......
36
OR-2: Reporting to other confinement facilities.
37
OR-3: Staff first responder duties..
38
OR-4: Coordinated response...........
39
OR-5: Agency protection against retaliation.........
40
INVESTIGATIONS (IN) ......
IN-1: Duty to investigate
IN-2: Criminal and administrative agency investigations......
IN-3: Evidence standard for administrative investigations...

41
41
42
45

DISCIPLINE (DI) ........................................................................................................
DI-1: Disciplinary sanctions for staff .........................................................
DI-2: Interventions for residents who engage in sexual abuse ...

46
46
47

MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE (MM) . .................................
MM-1: Medical and mental health intake screenings.....................
MM-2: Access to emergency medical and mental health services....
MM-3: Ongoing medical and mental health care for
sexual abuse victims and abusers..................
.

48
48
50
51

IV. MONITORING...................................................................
.
DATA COLLECTION AND REVIEW (DC) .
DC-1: Sexual abuse incident reviews..........
.
DC-2: Data collection
.
.
DC-3: Data review for corrective action..
.
DC-4: Data storage, publication, and destruction

AUDITS (AU) .
AU-1: Audits of standards.

53
53
53
54
55
56

.
.
.
.
.

57
57

.
.

APPENDIX A: RESPONSIBILITIES OF FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAMINERS
APPENDIX B: TRAINING TOPICS AND PROCEDURES.....
APPENDIX C: INCIDENT-BASED DATA COLLECTION. .

59
...

...

61
65

APPENDIX D: NPREC STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT EXPERT COMMITTEE MEMBERS

67

APPENDIX E: STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT..

73

vi

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

INTRODUCTION
Sexual abuse of people in confinement violates their basic human rights, impedes the likelihood of
their successful reentry into the community, and violates the Government’s obligation to provide
safe and humane conditions of confinement. The government’s obligation is even stronger when
it comes to ensuring the safety of young people in its custody, youth who by virtue of their age are
even more vulnerable to abuse and less likely to be able to protect themselves.
The juvenile justice system was created in recognition of the developmental differences between
adult and juvenile offenders and the need to provide a rehabilitative and therapeutic environment
for young offenders to ensure they become healthy and productive members of society. Sexual abuse
of juveniles in confinement is not only traumatic for young offenders, but also extremely disruptive
to the rehabilitative process. No juvenile court sentence, regardless of the offense, should ever include
rape. A core priority of any confinement facility must be safety, which means protecting the safety
of all—the public, the staff, and the resident population. In recognition of this, Congress formed the
National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC or Commission) to develop national standards that will help eliminate prison rape and other forms of sexual abuse in confinement.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 requires agencies to comply with the national standards proposed by the Commission and approved and promulgated by the Attorney General to
eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. Fundamental to an agency’s success will be its commitment to
zero tolerance of sexual abuse—a recognition that sexual abuse in confinement facilities is unacceptable under any circumstances and as dangerous a threat to institutional security as an escape or homicide. Agencies must demonstrate zero tolerance not merely by words and written policy, but through
their actions, including what they do to prevent sexual abuse and their response when it occurs.
The standards developed by NPREC are organized as follows:

Standard Statement

Assessment Checklist

Discussion

Mandatory

Not mandatory:
tool for tracking
compliance

Not mandatory:
provides commentary
and guidance

Each standard statement contains mandatory requirements. Under each standard statement is
an assessment checklist. The assessment checklists are designed as a tool for agencies and facilities
to self-assess and track their progress toward meeting the standards. They are also meant to be a
starting point for the external audit of a facility’s compliance with the standards. The agency head,
facility head, PREA coordinator, or a designee must complete the assessment checklists for every
standard. Although answering “yes” to each checklist item is not mandatory, meeting the requirements in the standard is mandatory. Therefore, when completing a given checklist, if an official
answers “no” to a checklist question but believes the facility/agency is meeting the requirements of
the standard using a different process or procedure, he or she should explain how the alternative
process or procedure meets the standard. The PREA coordinator or other official should attach
documentation of compliance with the standard to the checklist unless compliance is self-evident.
Introduction

1

After each assessment checklist is a discussion of the standard. Discussion sections provide explanation for the rationale of the standard and, in some cases, offer guidance for achieving compliance
with it. Although the discussion sections sometimes offer further clarification on the meaning of
terms or phrases used in the standard, the glossary should be used as the primary source for the
meaning of terms or phrases. The discussion sections do not contain any additional mandatory
requirements. When mandatory requirements are mentioned in a discussion section, they have
been drawn directly from the standard statement.
In crafting these standards, NPREC has kept in mind the following overarching considerations:
(1) agency and facility heads should retain the flexibility, responsibility, and authority to establish
systems, practices, and protocols that will eliminate sexual abuse in their confinement facilities;
(2) successful compliance with the standards and elimination of sexual abuse require ongoing systemic efforts to assess and adjust policies, practices, and the allocation of resources to address
problems and improve safety; and (3) greater transparency of the agency’s sexual abuse data and
efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse will improve public trust and confidence in
our Nation’s juvenile facilities and aid in the elimination of sexual abuse in confinement.
The Commission recognizes the importance of the juvenile justice system’s rehabilitative philosophy and approach to improving outcomes for youth and keeping youth safe while in confinement.
As a result, although many of the PREA standards for juvenile facilities are similar to the standards
for adult prisons and jails, the standards for juvenile facilities take into account the major differences between adult and juvenile confinement facilities in such areas as the availability of and
access to programs, the psychological and physical development of the detained population, and
staff training requirements and responsibilities. These standards also speak to many legal issues
uniquely relevant to the care and supervision of youth in confinement settings, including State
and local mandatory reporting requirements for all acts of abuse against children. Finally, the juvenile standards address the wide age and developmental range among youth confined in a single
facility, with some jurisdictions housing individuals as young as 10 or as old as 24 together in the
same facility.
These standards are the product of lengthy study, consultation and reflection. The Commission
held eight public hearings, during which more than 100 witnesses testified, including corrections
and juvenile justice leaders, formerly incarcerated survivors of sexual abuse in confinement, researchers, investigators, prosecutors, and advocates for victims and the incarcerated. In addition,
the Commission convened expert committees comprised of similarly diverse stakeholders with
broad juvenile justice expertise to help inform the content of the standards during the drafting
process. Site visits to a cross-section of confinement facilities enabled the Commission to receive
feedback on the draft standards from a variety of corrections and juvenile justice officials. NPREC
also conducted a thorough review of the literature. Finally, during its 60-day public comment period, the Commission received and considered comments on the standards, many extensive in
nature, from more than 225 individuals or entities representing a wide range of perspectives.
The Commission believes that full adoption of these standards by all of the Nation’s juvenile facilities is necessary to achieve the elimination of sexual abuse in confinement facilities as Congress
intended in passing PREA.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

GLOSSARY
The following are terms that are used throughout the standards, and agencies should note
and understand the definitions of these terms as provided below to ensure proper compliance
with the standards. The Commission wishes to draw special attention to the fact that the
definitions of sexually abusive conduct that appear here differ from the definitions used by
the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The Commission recognizes that the BJS definitions have
been used by agencies for data collection purposes but has formulated somewhat different
definitions to capture the full range of conduct the standards seek to address. Additionally, the
Commission has deliberately excluded definitions for resident-on-resident indecent exposure
and voyeurism. Legal definitions for indecent exposure and voyeurism rely on the concept of
a sphere of privacy, and although residents have a legally cognizable privacy interest, that interest is extremely limited by security interests. Because the extent of residents’ privacy rights
necessarily varies according to legitimate security needs, so too would the circumstances in
which it would be appropriate to penalize residents for indecent exposure and voyeurism,
complicating the task of setting forth a clear policy and consistent practice of enforcement.
The reality is that residents are in states of undress around other residents and staff on a regular basis, raising the possibility that residents might be penalized for conduct that is part of the
ordinary course of life in confinement.
Age appropriate: A way of communicating, explaining, interviewing, or providing services to
a resident that is suitable for the resident’s age and level of emotional and cognitive development.
Agency: The unit of a governing authority with direct responsibility for the operation
of any facility that confines residents, including the implementation of policy as set by the
governing authority.
Agency head: The chief authority of a Federal, State, or local juvenile justice or law enforcement system.
Allegation: An oral, written, or electronic statement that sexual abuse has occurred or might
occur that is provided to a staff member or outside agency.
Audit: A thorough investigatory review of information, including written records and interviews with staff and residents, to determine whether and the extent to which an agency’s and/
or facility’s policies, practices, and protocols comply with the PREA standards.
Auditor: An individual or entity that the jurisdiction employs or retains by contract to perform audits. An auditor may also be authorized by law, regulation, or the judiciary to perform
audits; however, an auditor cannot be an agency employee. An auditor is able and prequalified
by the U.S. Department of Justice to perform audits competently and without bias. Prequalification does not require prior employment with any particular agency.
Contractor: A person who provides services other than direct services to residents on a recurring basis according to a contractual agreement with the agency (e.g., maintenance contractors).

Glossary

3

Credibility assessment: An investigator’s process of conducting interviews and weighing
evidence to determine the truthfulness of victim, witness, and suspect statements.
Critical incident: An occurrence or event, natural or human-caused, which requires an immediate response to protect life, facility safety, or property.
Cultural competence: The ability to work and communicate effectively with people of
diverse racial, ethnic, religious, and social groups based on an awareness and understanding of
differences in thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, and values.
Direct care staff: Staff responsible for the direct supervision of residents in housing units,
recreational areas, dining areas, and other program areas of the facility.
Employee: A person who works directly for the agency or facility or a person who provides
direct services to residents in a facility on a recurring basis according to a contractual agreement with the agency (e.g., contracted medical and mental health providers or contracted
food service providers).
Facility: A place, institution, building (or part thereof), set of buildings, or area (whether or not
enclosing a building or set of buildings) that is used for the confinement of individuals. A facility may be owned by a public or private agency.
Facility head: The chief authority of an individual confinement facility operated by a Federal,
State, or local juvenile justice or law enforcement agency or by a private entity (whether forprofit or nonprofit).
Gender identity: A person’s internal, deeply felt sense of being male or female, regardless of
the person’s sex at birth.
Gender nonconforming: A person whose gender identity and/or expression do not conform
to gender stereotypes generally associated with his or her birth sex.
Intersex: A condition usually present at birth that involves reproductive, genetic, or sexual
anatomy that does not seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.
Jurisdiction: A legal entity of government with geographic boundaries, such as the United
States, a State, a county, or a municipal entity.
Medical practitioner: A health professional who, by virtue of education, credentials, and experience, is permitted by law to evaluate and care for patients within the scope of his or her
professional practice. A “qualified medical practitioner” refers to such a professional who has
also successfully completed specialized training for treating sexual abuse victims.
Mental health practitioner: A mental health professional who, by virtue of education, credentials, and experience, is permitted by law to evaluate and care for patients within the scope of
his or her professional practice. A “qualified mental health practitioner” refers to such a professional who has also successfully completed specialized training for treating sexual abuse victims.
4

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Need to know: A criterion for limiting access of certain sensitive information to individuals
who require the information to make decisions or take action with regard to a resident’s safety
or treatment or to the investigative process.
Pat-down search: A superficial running of the hands over the body of a resident by a staff
member to determine whether the resident possesses contraband.
PREA coordinator: A senior-level full-time position that reports directly to the agency head.
The PREA coordinator’s responsibilities include developing, implementing, and overseeing the
agency’s plan to comply with the PREA standards. He or she is also responsible for ensuring the
completion of the assessment checklists in this body of standards.
Preponderance of the evidence standard: The standard of proof used in most civil cases
that requires the party bearing the burden of proof to present evidence that is more credible
and convincing than the evidence presented by the other party. This standard is satisfied if the
evidence shows that it is more probable than not that an event occurred. Preponderance of
the evidence is a lesser standard of proof than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is required
to convict in a criminal trial.
Protocol: Written instructions that guide the implementation of policies.
Report: Any allegation of sexual abuse. See definition of allegation.
Resident: Any person under the jurisdiction of or committed by the juvenile court and confined or detained in a juvenile facility.
Sexual abuse: Encompasses (1) resident-on-resident sexual abuse, (2) resident-on-resident sexual harassment, (3) staff-on-resident sexual abuse, and (4) staff-on-resident sexual harassment.
(1) Resident-on-resident sexual abuse: Encompasses all incidents of resident-on-resident
sexually abusive contact and resident-on-resident sexually abusive penetration.
Resident-on-resident sexually abusive contact: Non-penetrative touching (either directly or through the clothing) of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks without penetration by a resident of another resident without the latter’s consent,
or of a resident who is coerced into sexual contact by threats of violence, or of a resident
who is unable to consent or refuse.
	
Resident-on-resident sexually abusive penetration: Any sexual penetration by a
resident of another resident. The sexual acts included are:
• Contact between the penis and the vagina or the anus;
• Contact between the mouth and the penis, vagina, or anus; or
• Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger,
or other object.

Glossary

5

(2) Resident-on-resident sexual harassment: Repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal comments, or gestures or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one resident directed toward another.
(3) Staff-on-resident sexual abuse: Encompasses all occurrences of staff-on-resident sexually
abusive contact, staff-on-resident sexually abusive penetration, staff-on-resident indecent
exposure, and staff-on-resident voyeurism. Staff solicitations of residents to engage in sexual contact or penetration constitute attempted staff-on-resident sexual abuse.
Staff-on-resident sexually abusive contact: Non-penetrative touching (either directly or
through the clothing) of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks by a
staff member of a resident that is unrelated to official duties.
Staff-on-resident sexually abusive penetration: Penetration by a staff member of a resident. The sexual acts included are:
• Contact between the penis and the vagina or the anus;
• Contact between the mouth and the penis, vagina, or anus; or
• Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger,
or other object.
Staff-on-resident indecent exposure: The display by a staff member of his or her uncovered genitalia, buttocks, or breast in the presence of a resident.
Staff-on-resident voyeurism: An invasion of a resident’s privacy by staff for reasons unrelated to official duties or when otherwise not necessary for safety and security reasons,
such as peering at a resident who is using the toilet in his or her cell/room; requiring a
resident to expose his or her buttocks, genitals, or breasts; or taking images of all or part
of a resident’ naked body or of a resident performing bodily functions and distributing
or publishing them.
(4) Staff-on-resident sexual harassment: Repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual
nature to a resident by a staff member. Such statements include demeaning references to
gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or profane or
obscene language or gestures.
Staff: Employees and volunteers.
Strip search: A search that requires a person to remove or arrange some or all of his or her
clothing so as to permit a visual inspection of the underclothing, breasts, buttocks, or genitalia
of such person.
Substantiated allegation: An allegation that was investigated and the investigation determined that the alleged event occurred.
Transgender: A term describing persons whose gender identity and/or expression do not conform to the gender roles assigned to them at birth.
6

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Unfounded allegation: An allegation that was investigated and the investigation determined
that the alleged event did not occur.
Unsubstantiated allegation: An allegation that was investigated and the investigation produced
insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to whether or not the event occurred.
Victim advocate: An individual, who may or may not be affiliated with the agency, who
provides victims with a range of services during the forensic exam and investigatory process.
These services may include emotional support, crisis intervention, information and referrals,
and advocacy to ensure that victims’ interests are represented, their wishes respected, and
their rights upheld.
Video monitoring system: An integrated security system consisting of installed cameras
monitored by employees, which augments and/or enhances the ability of employees to provide the sight and sound security necessary to prevent, detect, contain, and respond to incidents of sexual abuse.
Visual body cavity search: A visual inspection of a body cavity, defined as a rectal cavity, or
vagina, for the purpose of discovering whether contraband is concealed in it.
Volunteer: An individual who donates his or her time and effort on a recurring basis to
enhance the activities and programs of the agency.

Glossary

7

I. PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PLANNING
Prevention Planning (PP)

PP-1

Zero tolerance of sexual abuse
The agency has a written policy mandating zero tolerance toward all forms of sexual abuse and
enforces that policy by ensuring all of its facilities comply with the PREA standards. The agency
employs or designates a PREA coordinator to develop, implement, and oversee agency efforts
to comply with the PREA standards.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency have a written policy mandating zero tolerance toward all forms of
sexual abuse?
(b) Does the agency ensure that all of its facilities comply with the PREA standards?
(c) Does the agency employ or designate a PREA coordinator to develop, implement, and
oversee agency efforts to comply with the PREA standards?
Discussion
Eliminating sexual abuse in confinement requires first and foremost a commitment to safety
as a core mandate of confinement operations. Agency and facility heads will be responsible not
only for ensuring that staff and residents are informed of the agency’s zero-tolerance policy
toward sexual abuse but for setting a tone that signals true commitment to an institutional culture of safety and security for all residents and staff. The agency head will also be responsible
for employing or designating a PREA coordinator to manage and oversee the agency’s efforts
to comply with the PREA standards. The PREA coordinator’s job should include: (1) developing written policies that follow juvenile justice best practices and meet the intent of the PREA
standards; (2) developing and implementing a training plan that fulfills the PREA training
standards; (3) monitoring resident screening procedures, investigations, and medical and mental health care treatment according to the PREA standards; (4) supervising the agency’s data
collection efforts; and (5) providing appropriate access and materials to auditors. By definition,
the PREA coordinator will be a senior-level position reporting directly to the agency head. In
that capacity, the PREA coordinator should provide routine updates to the agency head, including at executive-level meetings, on his or her areas of responsibility, progress reports on
standards implementation and compliance, and notice of any problems or challenges that need
to be addressed.
To ensure successful compliance with the PREA standards, the PREA coordinator may need
to develop strategies to address the culture of the agency or facility(ies) to determine the levels
of staff and resident resistance or openness to PREA standards implementation. Examples of
strategies may include conducting or coordinating assessments by surveying staff members
and residents to understand their attitudes, beliefs, and values that support or conflict with
a “reporting” culture that creates safety and security. Based on the results of the assessment,
the PREA coordinator and facility head(s) should work with key staff on all levels to design
strategies that create a cultural “readiness” for change (e.g., development of new policies, staff
briefings, video briefings from leadership for staff, and strategic planning meetings), training
programs, and other systems to change the culture to one in which staff and residents embrace
the goals and values of PREA and institutional safety.

I. Prevention and Response Planning

9

PP-2

Contracting with facilities for the confinement of residents
If public juvenile justice agencies contract for the confinement of their residents, they do so only
with private agencies or other entities, including other government agencies, committed to eliminating sexual abuse in their facilities, as evidenced by their adoption of and compliance with the
PREA standards. Any new contracts or contract renewals include the entity’s obligation to adopt
and comply with the PREA standards and specify that the agency will monitor the entity’s compliance with these standards as part of its general monitoring of the entity’s performance.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the public agency contract for the confinement of residents only with private
companies and other entities, including other government agencies, that agree to
adopt and comply with the PREA standards?
(b) Do all new contracts and contract renewals include an obligation to adopt and
comply with the PREA standards?
(c) Do all new contracts and contract renewals specify that the public agency will
monitor the entity’s compliance with the PREA standards as part of its monitoring
of the entity’s performance?
Discussion
The goal of this standard is to ensure that all residents, regardless of whether they are housed
in public or private confinement settings, are protected from sexual abuse. Public agencies that
contract with private agencies or other entities, including other government agencies, to confine
their residents are responsible for ensuring such protection of all residents by contracting only
with those companies or other entities that adopt and comply with PREA standards.

PP-3

Resident supervision
Direct care staff provides the resident supervision necessary to protect residents from sexual abuse.
The facility administrators and supervisors responsible for reviewing critical incidents must examine
areas in the facility where sexual abuse has occurred to assess whether there are any physical barriers that may have enabled the abuse, the adequacy of staffing levels during different shifts, and the
need for monitoring technology to supplement direct care staff supervision (DC-1). When problems
or needs are identified, facility administrators and supervisors take corrective action (DC-3).
Assessment Checklist
(a) Does direct care staff provide the supervision of residents necessary to protect
them from sexual abuse?
(b) Do the facility administrators and supervisors responsible for reviewing critical
incidents examine areas in the facility where sexual abuse has occurred to assess
the following?
• Physical barriers that may have enabled the abuse
• Adequacy of staffing levels during different shifts
• Monitoring technology needs
(c) When problems or needs are identified, do facility administrators and supervisors
take corrective action? (Attach description of corrective actions taken.)

10

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

YES

NO

Discussion
Adequate direct care staff supervision of residents is an essential component of any agency’s
sexual abuse prevention strategy. It enables direct care staff to identify aggressive or coercive
resident behavior before it escalates to sexual abuse, to identify signs of inappropriate staff
relationships developing with residents before they become abuse, to respond immediately to
prevent or end incidents of abuse by residents or staff, and, when an incident does occur, to
rapidly take the steps necessary for an effective response. However, the importance of adequate
security supervision should never be used to justify inappropriate staff behavior, such as staff
voyeurism of residents. For many facilities, adequate direct care staff supervision is achieved by
using a direct supervision model to manage the resident population. Direct supervision, widely
extolled as a best practice, is a method of resident management whereby direct care staff are in
continuous direct contact with residents, enabling them to interact with and observe residents
at all or most times. When feasible, given the security level of the resident population and any
constraints stemming from the physical design of the facility, the Commission recommends
that facilities strive to meet this standard by employing a direct supervision model.
Additionally, to ensure that any deficiencies in resident supervision are promptly identified and
corrected, the standard requires the facility administrators and supervisors responsible for reviewing critical incidents to examine known areas where sexual abuse has occurred to assess
and take corrective action regarding any physical barriers that may have enabled the abuse,
any problems with staffing levels in those areas at different times of the day, and any needs
for monitoring technology to supplement direct care staff supervision. In examining known
areas where sexual abuse has occurred, for example, they may find blind spots or inadequate
staffing patterns on particular shifts, which require new or different staff deployment schemes
and/or the addition or adjustment of cameras. More sophisticated video security monitoring
systems and/or radio frequency identification systems may also be useful tools for monitoring
staff and resident movement and location. The group of administrators and supervisors may
also discover that, to remedy the risk posed by physical barriers, other creative adaptations to
facility design may be required. They ought to examine each area carefully and take corrective
action to ensure that residents in all areas of the facility are safe from sexual abuse. Moreover,
when patterns of abuse have been identified in reviews (DC-1, DC-3), either at a given time of
day, in a particular area, or involving certain types of residents, facility leadership should take
action to ensure increased supervision during those times, in those areas, or for those groups
of residents.

PP-4

Limits to cross-gender viewing and searches
Except in the case of emergency, the facility prohibits cross-gender strip and visual body cavity
searches. Except in the case of emergency or other extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances,
the facility restricts nonmedical staff from viewing residents of the opposite gender who are nude
or performing bodily functions and similarly restricts cross-gender pat-down searches. Medical
practitioners conduct examinations of transgender individuals to determine their genital status
only in private settings and only when an individual’s genital status is unknown.

I. Prevention and Response Planning

11

Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Except in the case of emergency, does the facility prohibit cross-gender searches of
the following types?
• Strip
• Visual body cavity
(b) Except in the case of emergency or other extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances,
does the facility restrict cross-gender viewing by nonmedical staff of residents who
are nude or performing bodily functions?
(c) Except in the case of emergency or other extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances,
does the facility restrict cross-gender pat-down searches?
(d) A
 re examinations of transgender individuals to determine their genital status conducted
only by medical practitioners in private settings and only when an individual’s genital
status is unknown?
Discussion
The goal of this standard is to protect the privacy and dignity of residents and to reduce opportunities for staff-on-resident sexual abuse by prohibiting cross-gender strip and visual body
cavity searches, setting limits on cross-gender viewing of residents by nonmedical staff, and
restricting cross-gender pat-down searches.
This standard imposes a strong prohibition on cross-gender strip and visual body cavity searches, except in the case of emergency. Performance of these more intrusive strip searches and
body cavity searches should be undertaken only by specially trained, designated employees
of the same gender and conducted in conformance with hygienic procedures and professional
practices. Agencies without adequate security staff of the same gender as the resident population may want to consider training non–direct care staff to conduct these searches.
This standard does not place a prohibition on cross-gender pat-down searches and viewing of
residents, but requires these actions to be strictly limited in practice and only in the case of
emergency or other extraordinary or unforeseen circumstances. The Commission recognizes
that many State and local laws already restrict cross-gender viewing of residents and encourages agencies to consult and follow their relevant State and local laws. The Commission likewise
acknowledges that cross-gender supervision, in general, can prove beneficial in certain confinement settings and in no way intends for this standard to limit employment (or post assignment)
opportunities for men or women.
Agencies are encouraged to use a number of tools to aid compliance with this standard, including the use of privacy panels for shower and toilet areas and making verbal announcements
when a staff member of the opposite gender is in an area. Also, in addition to prohibiting
cross-gender strip and visual body cavity searches, each agency is encouraged to have a strong,
legally based policy regarding all searches (including same-gender searches) that gives proper
regard to the resident’s rights to privacy and dignity.
In some facilities, employees conduct strip or body cavity searches of transgender individuals ostensibly to determine their genital status. All too frequently, such examinations are not
necessary because the individual’s genital status was already determined at an initial medical
screening. To protect the privacy and dignity of transgender individuals, this standard prohibits examinations to determine genital status when that status has already been ascertained.

12

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Additionally, this standard requires examinations to determine genital status be conducted in
private and by medical practitioners.

PP-5

Accommodating residents with special needs
The agency ensures that residents who are limited English proficient (LEP), deaf, or disabled are able
to report sexual abuse to staff directly, through interpretive technology, or through non-resident
interpreters. Accommodations are made to convey all written information about sexual abuse
policies, including how to report sexual abuse, verbally to residents who have limited reading skills
or who are visually impaired.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Are all LEP, deaf, and disabled residents able to report sexual abuse to staff directly,
through interpretive technology, or through non-resident interpreters?
(b) Are accommodations made to convey all written information about sexual abuse policies, including how to report sexual abuse, verbally to residents with limited reading
skill or who are visually impaired?
Discussion
The ability of all residents to communicate effectively and directly with staff, without having
to rely on resident interpreters, is crucial for ensuring that they are able to report sexual abuse
as discreetly as possible. It is never desirable or sufficient for residents to serve as interpreters
or translators for other residents to report abuse because it compromises confidentiality and
places some residents in a position of undue influence over others. It is likewise critical that all
residents be informed of the agency’s policies, including how to report, in a way and format
that they understand. If the language and communication needs of the resident population are
unknown, the facility head or PREA coordinator may need to conduct an assessment of those
needs and develop policies and protocols to address them. Having strong policies and protocols
will help staff ensure the safety of LEP, deaf, and disabled residents as well as those residents
who have limited reading skills or who are visually impaired. The facility should also consider
the same issues with regard to communicating with residents’ families, bearing in mind that
the families’ language abilities may be different from those of the residents.

PP-6

Hiring and promotion decisions
The agency does not hire or promote anyone who has engaged in sexual abuse in an institutional
setting or who has engaged in sexual activity in the community facilitated by force, the threat of
force, or coercion. Consistent with Federal, State, and local law, the agency makes its best effort
to contact all prior institutional employers for information on substantiated allegations of sexual
abuse; must run criminal background checks for all applicants and employees being considered
for promotion; and must examine and carefully weigh any history of criminal activity at work or in
the community, including convictions for domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and sex offenses.
The agency also asks all applicants and employees directly about previous misconduct during interviews and reviews.

I. Prevention and Response Planning

13

Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) C
 onsistent with Federal, State, and local law, does the agency make its best effort to
contact all prior institutional employers for information on substantiated allegations
of sexual abuse?
(b) Does the agency disqualify applicants or employees being considered for promotion
upon learning of any history of substantiated allegations of sexual abuse in an institutional setting or history of engaging in sexual activity in the community facilitated by
force, the threat of force, or coercion?
(c) D
 oes the agency run criminal background checks for all applicants and employees
being considered for promotion?
(d) Does the agency carefully consider any history of criminal activity, at work or in the
community, including the following?
• Any convictions for domestic violence
• Any convictions for child abuse
• Any convictions for stalking
• Any convictions for sex offenses committed in the community
(e) D
 oes the agency ask all applicants and employees directly about previous misconduct
during interviews and reviews?
Discussion
An agency will not be able to meet its zero-tolerance goal if it employs or promotes anyone
who has engaged in sexual abuse in an institutional setting or who has engaged in sexual
activity facilitated by force, the threat of force, or coercion. Coercion includes but is not limited to using a position of authority or power to compel someone to engage in sexual activity.
Changing institutional culture and eliminating sexual abuse can be difficult enough without
adding the unnecessary additional risk of hiring or retaining individuals whose conduct has
demonstrated a lack of personal commitment to PREA’s goals. In addition to making its best
efforts to contact all prior institutional employers for information on substantiated allegations
of sexual abuse, the agency should have a consistent, proactive policy on asking applicants and
employees directly about previous misconduct during interviews or reviews. In jurisdictions in
which prospective employers are limited in their inquiry of previous employment or criminal
background, the agency should consider having job applicants sign waivers, if not prohibited
by law, stating that they waive their legal rights to claim libel, defamation, or slander regarding any information given during reference checks about their disciplinary history involving
sexual abuse.
Although many agencies already run routine criminal background checks for applicants, the
standard requires agencies to run criminal background checks, where allowable by law, both
for all applicants and for employees being considered for promotion to ensure that agencies are
always up-to-date on any criminal activity perpetrated by applicants or employees since gaining employment. The standard does not prescribe how to evaluate criminal histories because
the Commission recognizes that the agency will have to consider each criminal history on a
case-by-case basis and within a larger context of the person’s background, life experiences, and
work history. When considering previous criminal activity, the agency will have to weigh a
number of factors, including the nature and number of offenses and how much time has passed
since any convictions, to determine whether to hire or promote an individual.

14

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

PP-7

Assessment and use of monitoring technology
The agency uses video monitoring systems and other cost-effective and appropriate technology
to supplement its sexual abuse prevention, detection, and response efforts. The agency assesses,
at least annually, the feasibility of and need for new or additional monitoring technology and develops a plan for securing such technology.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency use video monitoring systems and other cost-effective and
appropriate technology to supplement its sexual abuse prevention, detection,
and response efforts?
(b) At least annually, does the agency assess the feasibility of and need for new or
additional monitoring technology and develop a plan for securing such technology?
Discussion
Video monitoring systems and other technology are invaluable tools for eliminating sexual
abuse. Video monitoring systems, when properly designed, managed, maintained, updated,
and fully integrated into the agency’s various other security systems, can serve as highly objective mechanisms for preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse. The Commission
recognizes, however, that some agencies may not have the resources immediately available
to acquire and implement new technology solutions or improve existing ones and so requires
those agencies to conduct an annual assessment of technology needs and to develop a plan to
secure new or additional monitoring technology if needed. For all agencies, technology should
be adapted to the population as well as to the age and design of each particular facility.

Response Planning (RP)

RP-1

Evidence protocol and forensic medical exams
The agency follows a uniform evidence protocol that maximizes the potential for obtaining usable physical evidence for administrative proceedings and criminal prosecutions. The protocol
must be adapted from or otherwise based on the 2004 U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on
Violence Against Women publication “A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic
Examinations, Adults/Adolescents,” subsequent updated editions, or similarly comprehensive and
authoritative protocols developed after 2004. As part of the agency’s evidence collection protocol,
all victims of resident-on-resident sexually abusive penetration or staff-on-resident sexually abusive
penetration are provided access to forensic medical exams performed by qualified forensic medical examiners who are trained in the unique psychological and emotional conditions of younger
victims of sexual abuse. Forensic medical exams are provided free of charge to the victim. The
facility makes available a victim advocate to accompany the victim through the forensic medical
exam process.

I. Prevention and Response Planning

15

Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Has the agency developed a written protocol adapted from or otherwise based on the
U.S. Department of Justice’s “A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic
Examinations, Adults/Adolescents,” any subsequent updated editions, or similarly
comprehensive and authoritative protocols developed after 2004?
(b) Does the facility provide victims of inmate-on-inmate sexually abusive penetration or
staff-on-inmate sexually abusive penetration with access to a forensic medical exam?
(c) Are all forensic medical exams provided by the facility performed by a qualified forensic
medical examiner trained in the unique psychological and emotional conditions of
younger victims of sexual abuse?
(d) Are forensic medical exams provided free of charge to the victim?
(e) Does the facility make available a victim advocate to accompany the victim through
the forensic medical exam process?
Discussion
At the time of publication of this body of standards, the 2004 U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women publication “A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical
Forensic Examinations, Adults/Adolescents” is considered the “gold standard” of sexual assault
evidence protocols by both the law enforcement and the forensic medical examiner communities. The protocol can be found electronically at the following Web address: http://www.ncjrs.
gov/pdffiles1/ovw/206554.pdf. The agency head should review the national protocol or a subsequent updated edition and incorporate it into the agency’s current protocol or use it to develop
a new agency protocol by adapting the national protocol to fit the agency’s needs, resources,
and policies. The agency head may find it particularly helpful to consult Appendix A of the
national protocol, which provides guidance on how jurisdictions can customize the national
protocol to meet specific local needs, challenges, policies, and statutes.
The agency head should ensure that all medical and mental health practitioners who treat resident victims of sexual abuse understand the importance of conducting prompt examinations to
identify medical and mental health needs and minimize the loss of evidence. It is critical that
victims’ acute medical and mental health needs be evaluated and addressed before evidence is
collected on-site or before they are transported off-site for evidence collection. Key elements of
proper evidence collection, discussed at length in the national protocol, include: (1) instructing
victims not to wash, brush their teeth, change their clothes, urinate, defecate, smoke, drink, or
eat until they have been initially evaluated by a forensic medical examiner and (2) educating
individuals involved in the handling, documentation, transfer, and storage of evidence about
how to preserve evidence and maintain the chain of custody.
Additionally, the forensic medical exam is an important element of both evidence collection
and treatment for recent sexual abuse victims. When possible, it is considered best practice to
transport victims to outside health care providers for forensic medical exams to avoid any conflict or appearance of conflict of interest regarding potential evidence or treatment of the victim.
If a facility does not have access to any community providers able to perform forensic medical
exams or a specific resident in need of an exam has been deemed a flight risk or too dangerous to transport out of the facility, it should take steps to contract with qualified independent
medical practitioners to perform the forensic exams at the facility. When an individual resident
has been deemed a flight risk or too dangerous to transport out of the facility, the facility head
should document in writing at the time the decision is made the factors that led to the decision
not to transport the resident off-site. Please see Appendix A for more on the responsibilities of
forensic medical examiners.

16

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Any medical practitioner who examines a resident should also be trained in the safety precautions to take when treating a resident as well as the unique psychological and emotional conditions of younger victims of abuse. For example, many residents may not previously have had
a pelvic or anal exam, and undergoing this exam for the first time after being sexually abused
may feel like a particularly invasive and traumatizing experience.
As required by the standard, the facility must make available a victim advocate to accompany
the victim through the forensic medical exam process. Ideally and when possible, victim advocates who work with residents should have training and experience in working with adolescent
and/or child victims of sexual or other abuse.

RP-2

Agreements with outside public entities and community service providers
The agency maintains or attempts to enter into memoranda of understanding (MOUs) or
other agreements with an outside public entity or office that is able to receive and immediately
forward resident reports of sexual abuse to facility heads (RE-1). The agency also maintains or
attempts to enter into MOUs or other agreements with community service providers that
are able to: (1) provide residents with emotional support services related to sexual abuse and
(2) help victims of sexual abuse during their transition from incarceration to the community
(RE-3, MM-3). The agency maintains copies of agreements or documentation showing attempts
to enter into agreements.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 oes the agency maintain an agreement or attempt to enter into an agreement with
an outside public entity or office that is able to receive and immediately forward
resident reports of sexual abuse to facility heads?
(b) Does the agency maintain or attempt to enter into agreements with community
service providers that are able to do the following?
• Provide residents with emotional support services related to sexual abuse
• Help victims of sexual abuse during their transition from incarceration to the
community
(c) Does the agency maintain copies of agreements or documentation showing attempts
to enter into agreements?
Discussion
Working to establish partnerships with outside public entities and community service providers will enable the agency to meet the requirements of standards RE-1, RE-3, and MM-4 most
effectively. Forging these partnerships will allow the agency to provide the range of services
available in the community and will give residents the choice to speak to someone not affiliated
with the agency if they feel more comfortable doing so. When an agency establishes an MOU
with an outside public entity or office to receive residents reports of sexual abuse, it should
make clear that the outside entity is responsible for forwarding those reports back to the agency
immediately upon receipt (RE-1). For cases in which facilities are located in areas lacking adequate community service providers willing to provide transition services to residents, the
agency head should consider researching regional or national agencies or groups that residents
may be able to access by telephone or, if no other alternative is possible, by mail and provide
residents with that contact information. For cases in which facilities are located in areas lacking
I. Prevention and Response Planning

17

adequate community service providers willing to provide victim support services to residents,
the agency or facility head is required by RE-3 to identify regional and/or national agencies or
groups that residents may be able to access by telephone or, if no other alternative is possible,
by mail and provide residents with that contact information.
Although the Commission recognizes that juvenile justice agencies may not be able to persuade
outside public entities or community service providers to enter into agreements, it nonetheless
requires agencies to try to enter into agreements. For juvenile justice agencies that successfully
enter into agreements with outside entities and community service providers, the Commission
recommends that agreements contain the following elements: (1) the purpose of the agreement; (2) the respective roles and responsibilities of the juvenile justice agency and outside
entity or provider; (3) the procedures for how and when community service providers are able
to gain entry into a facility; (4) the level of security supervision community service providers
will have while in a facility; (5) the safety precautions that community service providers should
take when working with residents; and (6) any laws, rules, and/or regulations relevant to the
service being provided, including relevant State or local laws governing mandatory reporting
requirements for disclosures about sexual abuse made to community service providers.

RP-3

Agreements with outside law enforcement agencies
If an agency does not have the legal authority to conduct criminal investigations or has elected to
permit an outside agency to conduct criminal or administrative investigations of staff or residents,
the agency maintains or attempts to enter into a written MOU or other agreement specific to
investigations of sexual abuse with the law enforcement agency responsible for conducting investigations. The agency also maintains or attempts to enter into an MOU with the designated State
or local services agency with the jurisdiction and authority to conduct investigations related to
the sexual abuse of children within confinement facilities. When the agency already has an existing
agreement or long-standing policy covering responsibilities for all criminal investigations, including
sexual abuse investigations and child abuse investigations conducted by a designated State or local
services agency, it does not need to enter into new agreements. The agency maintains copies of its
agreements or documentation showing attempts to enter into agreements.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) If the agency does not have the legal authority to conduct criminal investigations
or has elected to permit an outside agency to conduct criminal or administrative
investigations of staff or residents, has the agency established or attempted to
establish a written MOU or other agreement specific to investigations of sexual
abuse with the law enforcement agency responsible for conducting investigations?
(b) Has the agency established or attempted to establish an MOU with the designated
State or local services agency with the jurisdiction and authority to conduct
investigations related to the sexual abuse of children within confinement facilities?
(c) Does the agency maintain copies of the agreements or documentation showing
attempts to enter into agreements?
Discussion
Standing agreements between juvenile justice agencies and outside law enforcement agencies outlining how they will work together while investigating an incident of sexual abuse

18

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

are important for ensuring that investigations into allegations of sexual abuse are timely and
effective. Although the Commission recognizes that juvenile justice agencies may not be able
to persuade outside law enforcement agencies to enter into agreements, it nonetheless requires
agencies to try to enter into agreements. For juvenile justice agencies that successfully enter
into agreements with outside law enforcement agencies, the Commission recommends that
agreements contain the following elements: (1) the criteria, protocol, and timetables for referring an allegation of sexual abuse to the outside law enforcement agency for investigation; (2)
the respective roles and responsibilities for conducting sexual abuse investigations; (3) the
respective roles and responsibilities of the juvenile justice or law enforcement agencies for collecting evidence in accordance with the juvenile justice or law enforcement agency’s evidence
protocol; (4) detailed information on how criminal, administrative, and/or other investigations
will be coordinated between the agencies; (5) description of what information will and will not
be shared between agencies; (6) the protocol for reporting progress on investigations to juvenile
justices officials; (7) the location of where closed case files will be maintained; (8) the protocol
for informing the victim of the progress and outcome of the investigation(s); and (9) a schedule
of regular meetings between the agency and law enforcement supervisors to review the efficacy of the agreement and to recommend or make any changes, as necessary.
Under State or local law, an outside services agency, whether it is child protective services,
an ombudsperson, or another State agency, will likely have the authority and jurisdiction to
conduct separate investigations into allegations of sexual abuse committed against youth in
confinement. Therefore, the standard requires the agency to enter into or attempt to enter
into an MOU with the State or local services agency, as they would with any law enforcement
agency with the authority to conduct investigations. If the relationship between the State or local services agency and the juvenile justice agency is already established by State or local law
or longstanding agreement/policy, a new agreement and/or MOU is not necessary.

RP-4

Agreements with the prosecuting authority
The agency maintains or attempts to enter into a written MOU or other agreement with the authority responsible for prosecuting violations of criminal law. The agency maintains a copy of the
agreement or documentation showing attempts to enter into an agreement.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) H
 as the agency established or attempted to establish a written MOU or other agreement with the authority responsible for prosecuting violations of criminal law?
(b) Does the agency maintain a copy of the agreement or documentation showing attempts to enter into an agreement?
Discussion
Greater collaboration and communication between juvenile justice agencies and prosecutors
can dramatically affect the success of sexual abuse prosecutions, improving accountability and
preventing the recurrence of incidents of sexual abuse. The Commission urges the agency head
to maintain regular, ongoing discussions with prosecutors about issues related to any allegations of criminal conduct in the agency.
Although the Commission recognizes that juvenile justice agencies may not be able to persuade
prosecuting authorities to enter into agreements, it nonetheless requires agencies to try to enter
I. Prevention and Response Planning

19

into agreements. For juvenile justice agencies that successfully enter into agreements with prosecutors, the Commission recommends that agreements contain the following elements: (1) the
purpose of the agreement (e.g., to ensure effective prosecution of sexual abuse in confinement
settings); (2) identification of the liaison position within each agency/office; (3) a schedule for
joint training of investigators and prosecutors; (4) objective criteria for prosecution referral; (5)
a description of the necessary evidence and relevant paperwork prosecutors will need from the
agency to prosecute a case of sexual abuse; (6) timeframes for submission of criminal cases
to prosecutors; (7) a requirement that prosecutors report back to juvenile justice agencies after
each case is reviewed; (8) the respective roles and responsibilities of the juvenile justice agency
and the prosecuting authority if the prosecutor decides to prosecute; and (9) a schedule of
regular meetings between the agency and prosecution supervisors to review the efficacy of the
agreement and to recommend or make any changes, as necessary.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

II. PREVENTION
Training and Education (TR)

TR-1

Employee training
The agency trains all employees to be able to fulfill their responsibilities under agency sexual abuse
prevention, detection, and response policies and procedures; the PREA standards; and under relevant Federal, State, and local law. The agency trains all employees to communicate effectively
and professionally with all residents. Additionally, the agency trains all employees on a resident’s
right to be free from sexual abuse, the right of residents and employees to be free from retaliation
for reporting sexual abuse, the dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement, and the common reactions of sexual abuse victims. Current employees are educated as soon as possible following the
agency’s adoption of the PREA standards, and the agency provides periodic refresher information
to all employees to ensure that they know the agency’s most current sexual abuse policies and
procedures. The agency maintains written documentation showing employee signatures verifying
that employees understand the training they have received.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 o employees receive the training necessary to fulfill their responsibilities under
agency sexual abuse prevention, detection, and response policies and procedures;
the PREA standards; and relevant Federal, State, and local law?
(b) Does the agency train all employees to communicate effectively and professionally
with all residents?
(c) Does the agency train all employees on the following topics?
• A resident’s right to be free from sexual abuse
• The right of residents and employees to be free from retaliation for reporting
sexual abuse
• The dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement
• The common reactions of sexual abuse victims
(d) D
 oes the agency provide periodic refresher training to ensure that all employees are
educated on the agency’s most current sexual abuse policies and procedures?
(e) F ollowing training, does the agency require employees to sign documentation stating
that they understand the training they have received and maintain documentation of
these signatures?
Discussion
Under this standard, each agency must provide employees with the knowledge and skills to
prevent sexual abuse from occurring, to identify signs that sexual abuse may be occurring,
and to take the appropriate actions when they learn of recent or historical incidents of sexual
abuse. Additionally, it is important that all employees are trained to communicate effectively
and professionally with all residents, including those of different races, ethnicities, cultural or
religious backgrounds, ages, genders, and sexual orientations, as well as residents with differing cognitive abilities. Good communication encourages greater trust between employees and
residents, which may remove one of the obstacles to resident reporting of sexual abuse.

II. Prevention

21

Employee training can take place in multiple venues, including roll calls, on-the-job training,
new employee orientations, and pre-service or in-service academies. It is recommended that
an agency’s sexual abuse training programs be accompanied by clear sexual abuse prevention policies developed with an eye toward overcoming any anticipated employee resistance to
or concerns about such policies. When putting together a training plan, agency administrators
and/or PREA coordinators may find it helpful to consult the many resources and training materials already available, including those developed by other local, State, and Federal juvenile justice
agencies; the National Institute of Corrections (NIC); and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
A full list of suggested employee training topics and procedures is provided in Appendix B.
Although Appendix B is not an exhaustive or exclusive list, agencies may wish to use these
items as a starting point for developing their own employee training curriculum and programs.

TR-2

Volunteer and contractor training
The agency ensures that all volunteers and contractors who have contact with residents have been
trained on their responsibilities under the agency’s sexual abuse prevention, detection, and response
policies and procedures; the PREA standards; and relevant Federal, State, and local law. The level and
type of training provided to volunteers and contractors is based on the services they provide and level
of contact they have with residents, but all volunteers and contractors who have contact with residents must be notified of the agency’s zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse. Volunteers must
also be trained in how to report sexual abuse. The agency maintains written documentation showing
volunteer and contractor signatures verifying that they understand the training they have received.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency ensure that all volunteers and contractors who have contact with
residents have been trained on their responsibilities under the agency’s sexual abuse
prevention, detection, and response policies and procedures; the PREA standards; and
relevant Federal, State and local law?
(b) Does the agency tailor its training for volunteers and contractors based on the services they
provide and the level of contact they have with residents?
(c) A
 re all volunteers and contractors who have contact with residents notified of the
agency’s zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse?
(d) A
 re all volunteers trained in how to report sexual abuse to direct care staff and/or
other parties, when appropriate?
(e) F ollowing training, does the agency require volunteers and contractors to sign documentation stating that they understand the training they have received and maintain
documentation of these signatures?
Discussion
Because many volunteers have frequent contact with residents, it is important that all volunteers for the agency receive basic training on the PREA standards, the agency’s zero-tolerance
policy, and their responsibilities for reporting sexual abuse to direct care staff. Additionally,
any contractors who have any contact with residents, however minimal, will also need to be
trained on the agency’s zero-tolerance policy. The agency may choose to provide more detailed
training for all or some subset of volunteers in their facilities, including many of the same topics
suggested for employee training in Appendix B.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Volunteers may be trained off-site by their volunteer organization as long as the organization’s training program meets the minimum requirements outlined in this standard. In these
instances, the facility must verify that the off-site training meets the requirements of this standard and maintain documentation that volunteers have received and understand this training,
as mandated by the standard. If the agency trains volunteers, agency administrators and/or
PREA coordinators may find it helpful to consult the many resources and training materials
already available, including those developed by other local, State, and Federal juvenile justice
agencies; NIC; and BJA.

TR-3

Resident education
During the intake process, staff informs residents of the agency’s zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse and how to report incidents or suspicions of sexual abuse in an age-appropriate
fashion. Within a reasonably brief period of time following the intake process, the agency provides
comprehensive, age-appropriate education to residents regarding their right to be free from sexual
abuse and to be free from retaliation for reporting abuse, the dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement, the common reactions of sexual abuse victims, and agency sexual abuse response policies
and procedures. Current residents are educated as soon as possible following the agency’s adoption of the PREA standards, and the agency provides periodic refresher information to all residents
to ensure that they know the agency’s most current sexual abuse policies and procedures. The
agency provides resident education in formats accessible to all residents, including those who are
LEP, deaf, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled as well as inmates who have limited reading skills.
The agency maintains written documentation of resident participation in these education sessions.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 uring the intake process, does staff inform residents of the agency’s zero-tolerance
policy regarding sexual abuse in an age-appropriate fashion?
(b) During the intake process, does staff tell residents how to report incidents or
suspicions of sexual abuse?
(c) D
 oes the agency provide comprehensive, age-appropriate education to residents
within a reasonably brief period of time following the intake process?
(d) Does the comprehensive, age-appropriate education for residents include the
following topics?
• A resident’s right to be free from sexual abuse and free from retaliation for
reporting abuse
• The dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement
• The common reactions of sexual abuse victims
• Agency sexual abuse response policies and procedures
(e) D
 oes the agency provide periodic refresher training to ensure that all residents are
educated on the agency’s most current sexual abuse policies and procedures?
(f) D
 oes the agency make training information available in formats accessible to all
residents, including those who are LEP, deaf, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled
and residents who have limited reading skills?
(g) Does the facility verify resident attendance at training sessions and maintain this
written verification?

II. Prevention

23

Discussion
Residents need to be educated about the agency’s sexual abuse policies so they understand how
to protect themselves against sexual abuse, how to report sexual abuse, what will happen following a report, and the consequences for committing sexual abuse. A strong resident education program will send a message to residents that sexual abuse is taken seriously and that the
agency will protect residents who report incidents of sexual abuse and refer investigations for
disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. Due to the wide age range of residents in some
facilities, agencies should ensure that this information is delivered in an age-appropriate fashion.
For example, a very young resident will have a much different reaction than an older resident to
such information; the young resident may become frightened or not understand the terms and
concepts used when he or she is informed of the agency’s sexual abuse policies. In such cases,
staff may choose to inform residents of the agency’s zero-tolerance policy by telling them that no
relationships beyond friendship are permitted. The delivery of such information should always
be tailored to the specific needs and age/maturity level of the residents receiving the information.
In addition to determining an appropriate time frame for providing comprehensive education
to new residents, the agency should develop a plan for providing the resident education program to current residents to ensure that training is provided within a reasonable period of time
after the adoption of the PREA standards, as required by this standard. Staff conducting the
training should consider using some of the following tools, depending on the learning needs
of the population they are training: videos, written materials, and structured discussions. As
with developing an employee or volunteer training program, when putting together a resident
training plan, agency administrators and/or PREA coordinators may find it helpful to consult
the many resources and training materials already available, including those developed by
other local, State, and Federal juvenile justice agencies; NIC; and BJA. Staff may need to train
residents in small groups and in settings with few distractions due to the sensitive nature of the
material. In addition to training sessions provided at specific times, the agency should ensure
key information is continually and readily available and/or visible to the resident population
through posters, resident handbooks, or other written formats.

TR-4

Specialized training: Investigations
In addition to the general training provided to all employees (TR-1), the agency ensures that
agency investigators conducting sexual abuse investigations have received comprehensive and upto-date training in conducting such investigations in confinement settings. Specialized training
must include techniques for interviewing young sexual abuse victims, proper use of Miranda- and
Garrity-type warnings, sexual abuse evidence collection in confinement settings, and the criteria
and evidence required to substantiate a case for administrative action or prosecution referral. The
agency maintains written documentation that investigators have completed the required specialized training in conducting sexual abuse investigations.

24

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 oes the agency ensure that all agency investigators conducting sexual abuse investigations have received training in conducting such investigations in confinement settings?
(b) Does specialized training for sexual abuse investigators include the following?
• Techniques for interviewing young sexual abuse victims
• Proper use of Miranda- and Garrity-type warnings
• Sexual abuse evidence collection in confinement settings
• Criteria and evidence required to substantiate a case for administrative action or
prosecution referral
(c) D
 oes the agency verify that investigators have completed specialized training in
conducting sexual abuse investigations and maintain written verification?
Discussion
Substantiating and resolving incidents of sexual abuse in confinement settings requires highly
competent investigations. Sexual abuse investigations in confinement settings are complicated,
and an agency will not be successful in addressing abuse if it does not ensure that investigators
are sufficiently trained.
Because the trauma of sexual abuse can be especially devastating to victims in custody who
may already feel powerless and isolated, special care should be given to the quality and training
of the investigator to ensure that victims and witnesses are treated in a manner that facilitates
both victims’ recovery and cooperation. It is critically important for sexual abuse investigators to be trained in how to interview young sexual abuse victims and witnesses, who may be
reluctant to speak to investigators or generally uncooperative. Young victims are less likely to
understand the investigator’s role or feel comfortable describing the details of the abuse to an
authority figure, especially if the victim feels threatened. Training on strategies for communicating effectively and professionally with young victims, as well as making sure that all victims
and witnesses are interviewed in locations where they feel comfortable talking about the incident, will help investigators complete their responsibilities without re-traumatizing young victims. Additionally, all investigators should know how and when to administer Miranda- and/or
Garrity-type warnings to subjects of investigations.
Collecting evidence in a confinement setting requires that investigators understand where to look
for evidence in these settings, including DNA evidence, and how direct care staff will secure and
preserve crime scenes. Sexual abuse investigators should also know how and when to photograph
injuries. In addition to knowing how to collect evidence in a confinement setting, investigators
also need to know how to evaluate that evidence according to the different standards of proof required to substantiate a case for administrative action or prosecution referral. It may also be helpful for investigators to have an understanding of how cases are evaluated for prosecutorial merit.
When developing training curricula for investigators, the agency may find it helpful to consult training materials developed by other Federal, State, and local juvenile justice agencies;
NIC; and BJA. In the event investigators have previously received the comprehensive training
described above, the agency does not need to re-train the investigators. In such instances, the
agency will need to verify the investigators’ preexisting knowledge and understanding of the
requirements listed in this standard and their responsibilities under agency policy; the PREA
standards; and Federal, State, or local law.

II. Prevention

25

TR-5

Specialized training: Medical and mental health care
The agency ensures that all full- and part-time medical and mental health care practitioners working in its facilities have been trained in how to detect and assess signs of sexual abuse and that all
medical practitioners are trained in how to preserve physical evidence of sexual abuse. All medical
and mental health care practitioners must be trained in how to respond effectively and professionally to young victims of sexual abuse and how and to whom to report allegations or suspicions
of sexual abuse. The agency maintains documentation that medical and mental health practitioners have received this specialized training.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency ensure that all full- and part-time medical and mental health care
practitioners working in its facilities have been trained in how to detect and assess
signs of sexual abuse?
(b) Does the agency ensure that all full- and part-time medical practitioners working in its
facilities have been trained in how to preserve physical evidence?
(c) A
 re all full- and part-time medical and mental health care practitioners trained in how
to respond effectively and professionally to young victims of sexual abuse?
(d) D
 oes the agency provide training in how and to whom to report allegations or
suspicions of sexual abuse?
(e) D
 oes the agency verify that all full- and part-time medical and mental health
practitioners have received specialized training in detecting, assessing, and responding
to sexual abuse victims and maintain this written verification?
Discussion
Residents are often more likely to report sexual abuse to medical or mental health practitioners
rather than direct care staff. It is therefore critical that agencies provide training for medical
and mental health practitioners on how to detect sexual abuse and how to elicit, receive, and
forward reports of sexual abuse. Additionally, medical and mental health practitioners should
be trained and experienced in working with children and young victims of sexual abuse, including how to address the unique developmental and psychosocial needs of confined youth.
Youth in confinement are often reluctant to speak with practitioners or confused about the
services they are receiving, and many have prior histories of sexual abuse in the community
that should be dealt with and discussed in a sensitive manner. Medical and mental health practitioners will be better suited to deliver effective and comprehensive services if they have the
proper training to treat young victims.
This standard requires that all full- and part-time practitioners who regularly work at a facility,
whether contractors or staff, be specially trained. The Commission recognizes that there may
be occasions in which a practitioner works at the facility on an extremely short, ad hoc basis.
For example, a practitioner may be serving as an emergency substitute for a sick staff member.
The standard does not require the agency to ensure such practitioners have received the special
training, although it may want to do so to guarantee that at least one specially trained practitioner is on duty at all times.
In the event medical and mental health care practitioners have previously received the training
described above, the agency does not need to re-train the medical and mental health care staff.
In such instances, the agency will need to verify the staff members’ preexisting knowledge
and understanding of the requirements listed in this standard, and their responsibilities under
agency policy; the PREA standards; and Federal, State, or local law.

26

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Assessment and Placement of Residents (AP)

AP-1

Obtaining information about residents
During intake and periodically throughout a resident’s confinement, employees obtain and use
information about each resident’s personal history and behavior to keep all residents safe and free
from sexual abuse. At a minimum, employees attempt to ascertain information about prior sexual
victimization or abusiveness; sexual orientation and gender identity; current charges and offense
history; age; level of emotional and cognitive development; physical size/stature; mental illness or
mental disabilities; intellectual/developmental disabilities; physical disabilities; and any other specific information about individual residents that may indicate heightened needs for supervision,
additional safety precautions, or separation from certain other residents. This information may
be ascertained through conversations with residents at intake and medical and mental health
screenings; during classification assessments; and by reviewing court records, case files, facility behavioral records, and other relevant documentation from the residents’ files. Medical and mental
health practitioners are the only staff permitted to talk with residents to gather information about
their sexual orientation or gender identity, prior sexual victimization, history of engaging in sexual
abuse, mental health status, and mental or physical disabilities. If the facility does not have medical
or mental health practitioners available, residents are given an opportunity to discuss any safety
concerns or sensitive issues privately with another employee.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 uring intake and periodically throughout a resident’s confinement, do employees
attempt to ascertain information about the following?
• Prior sexual victimization or abusiveness
• Sexual orientation or gender identity
• Current charges and offense history
• Age
• Level of emotional and cognitive development
• Physical size/stature
• Mental illness
• Mental or physical disabilities
• Intellectual or developmental disabilities
• Any other specific information about individual residents that may indicate
the need to separate them from other residents
(b) Is information about residents ascertained through multiple channels, including
conversations with residents at intake and medical and mental health screenings;
during classification assessments; and by reviewing court records, case files, facility
behavior records, and other relevant documentation?
(c) A
 re medical and mental health practitioners the only staff permitted to talk with
residents to gather information about their sexual orientation or gender identity,
prior sexual victimization, history of engaging in sexual abuse, mental health status,
and mental or physical disabilities?

II. Prevention

27

Discussion
Under this standard, during intake screenings and subsequently, employees must attempt to
ascertain information about previous sexual victimization and abusiveness, sexual orientation and gender identity, and other enumerated factors that may be helpful to know in keeping
all residents safe while confined. Currently, there is little known about what makes certain
residents more vulnerable to sexual abuse or to being sexually abusive. As such, employees
should make individualized determinations regarding placement of youth and use their professional judgment to protect all youth in the facility. The Commission strongly recommends
that agencies consult emerging research periodically to determine if there are new factors or
considerations that research has identified as being useful for making assessments about future
victimization or abusiveness.
Knowing that a young person is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender can help facilities plan
for the youth’s safety. Research on victimization outside of the juvenile justice area suggests
that certain characteristics, such as openly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender;
having a history of victimization or mental illness; or having a mental disability, may make
some residents more vulnerable to harassment, bullying, physical violence, or even sexual
abuse. However, it is generally not appropriate for employees to ask direct questions about
sexual orientation or gender identity as part of initial intake or to discuss these sensitive issues
in non-private areas. Rather, the agency should create an atmosphere of acceptance in which
youth are more likely to reveal such information voluntarily. Therefore, this standard requires
that any information regarding sexual orientation and other sensitive issues, such as gender
identity, be ascertained by medical and mental health practitioners during private medical and
mental health intake and reception screenings and in accordance with their professional judgment, taking into account the resident’s age and other developmental factors (MM-1).

AP-2

Placement of residents in housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments
Employees use all information obtained about the resident at intake and subsequently to make
placement decisions for each resident on an individualized basis with the goal of keeping all residents safe and free from sexual abuse. When determining housing, bed, program, education and
work assignments for residents, employees must take into account a resident’s age; the nature of
his or her offense; any mental or physical disability or mental illness; any history of sexual victimization or engaging in sexual abuse; his or her level of emotional and cognitive development; his
or her identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; and any other information obtained
about the resident (AP-1). Residents may be isolated from others only as a last resort when less
restrictive measures are inadequate to keep them and other residents safe, and then only until an
alternative means of keeping all residents safe can be arranged.
Assessment Checklist
(a) D
 o employees use all information obtained about a resident at intake and
subsequently to make placement decisions on an individualized basis with the
goal of keeping all residents safe and free from sexual abuse?
(b) When determining housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments for residents,
do employees take into account all the known information about the resident?
(c) A
 re residents isolated from others only as a last resort when less restrictive measures
are inadequate to keep them and other residents safe, and then only until an
alternative means of keeping all residents safe can be arranged?

28

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

YES

NO

Discussion
Ensuring that employees make deliberate, informed decisions about how and where to place
residents, rather than, for example, making decisions solely based on available bed space, will
go a long way toward keeping all residents safe from sexual abuse. Decisions regarding housing
are particularly important, and when assigning a resident to shared rooms or pods, as is necessary in many facilities, employees ought to take special care to consider all the information
known about the resident and to determine the appropriate pairing or pod assignment. Due
to differences in cognitive and emotional development, employees should make every effort to
house younger residents with residents close to their age, rather than with older residents. Similarly, individuals who are placed in a facility for status offenses should be housed separately
from other residents when possible.
Although this standard mandates using all information known about a resident early in his
or her confinement to inform housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments, this
information can change over time, and more information could become available during the
course of a youth’s confinement. As such, resident case managers and other staff should check
in periodically with residents to make sure their placements are appropriate; that residents feel
comfortable; and that residents are not experiencing any unwanted sexual behavior or threats
from staff or other residents.
Facilities should be able to keep residents safe without relying on isolation or prolonged room
confinement for potential or actual victims or abusers. Isolating a youth from others for safety
reasons should only be undertaken as a last resort and then only for as short a time as possible.
If prolonged isolation is the only option for keeping residents safe, the facility should consider
transfers to other facilities. Transfers should also be considered for residents who request them
for safety reasons.

II. Prevention

29

III. DETECTION AND RESPONSE
Reporting (RE)

RE-1

Resident reporting
The facility provides multiple internal ways for residents to report easily, privately, and securely
sexual abuse, retaliation by other residents or staff for reporting sexual abuse, and staff neglect or
violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident of sexual abuse. The facility
also provides at least one way for residents to report the abuse to an outside public entity or office
not affiliated with the agency that has agreed to receive reports and forward them to the facility
head (RP-3). Staff accepts reports made verbally, in writing, anonymously, and from third parties
and immediately puts into writing any verbal reports.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the facility provide multiple internal ways for residents to report easily, privately,
and securely sexual abuse, retaliation by other residents or staff for reporting sexual
abuse, and staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to
an incident of sexual abuse (e.g., locked drop boxes in common areas for reports or
requests; grievance procedures; sick-call systems; access to a central or headquarters
office)? (Please attach documentation explaining the specific internal reporting
mechanisms the facility has in place.)
(b) Does the facility provide at least one way for residents to report sexual abuse to an outside
public entity or office not affiliated with the agency that has agreed to receive reports and
forward them to the facility head (e.g., ombudsperson; outside law enforcement agency;
inspector general’s office; attorney general’s office; child protective services) (RP-3)? (Please
attach documentation explaining the specific outside reporting mechanism(s) the facility
has made available to residents.)
(c) Does staff accept reports made verbally, in writing, anonymously, and by third parties?
(d) Does staff immediately put into writing any verbal reports?
Discussion
The agency should make reporting sexual abuse as easy, private, and secure as possible. The
more the agency demonstrates through policy, practice, and staff behaviors its commitment to
protecting sexual abuse victims and punishing abusers, the more victims will feel safe coming
forward. Although a potential increase in disclosures and investigations may initially tax juvenile justice resources, increased reporting may also signal that residents are becoming more
trustful of the system, which, in turn, may deter potential abusers from engaging in sexually
abusive behaviors. Over time, the agency’s initial investment in efforts to make reporting easier
and to conduct thorough investigations will serve everyone’s interests. Victims will be better
supported, abusers will be held accountable, and staff and residents will ultimately be able to
live and work in safer, more secure environments.
The facility should take seriously all reports of sexual abuse, regardless of the form or format
in which they were conveyed. Although the facility may choose to provide different mechanisms for internal reporting, including locked drop boxes in common areas for residents
to drop reports, requests, or grievances or dedicated phones or programmed phones with
toll-free hotline numbers to internal investigative departments, staff should be prepared to
accept and respond to all types of reports and manners of reporting. For example, a resident
III. Detection and Response

31

who scrawls a note and passes it to an officer should be treated the same way as a resident
who files a formal grievance.
The standard’s requirement that the agency enable residents to report to at least one outside
public entity or office not affiliated with the agency will signal to residents that the agency’s
chief concern is making sure that residents feel safe and comfortable reporting sexual abuse.
The agency may choose to meet this requirement by allowing residents to report directly to the
designated State or local services agency that has the authority to conduct investigations into
allegations of sexual abuse involving child victims (RP-3). In addition to developing numerous avenues for receiving reports, staff should be trained and expected to take proactive steps
to talk to residents periodically about any unwanted sexual behaviors or threats they may be
experiencing from other residents or staff (SC-2).

RE-2

Exhaustion of administrative remedies
Under agency policy, a resident has exhausted his or her administrative remedies with regard to a
claim of sexual abuse either (1) when the agency makes a final decision on the merits of the report of
abuse (regardless of whether the report was made by the resident, made by a third party, or forwarded from an outside official or office) or (2) when 90 days have passed since the report was made,
whichever occurs sooner. A report of sexual abuse triggers the 90-day exhaustion period regardless
of the length of time that has passed between the abuse and the report. A resident seeking immediate protection from imminent sexual abuse will be deemed to have exhausted his or her administrative remedies 48 hours after notifying any agency staff member of his or her need for protection.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 oes agency policy reflect that a resident has exhausted administrative remedies with
regard to a claim of sexual abuse under the following circumstances?
• When the agency makes a final decision on the merits of the report of abuse
(regardless of whether the report was made by the resident, made by a third party,
or forwarded from an outside official or office) or
• When 90 days have passed since the report was made, whichever occurs sooner
(b) Does agency policy reflect that a resident seeking immediate protection from imminent
sexual abuse has exhausted administrative remedies 48 hours after notifying any agency
staff member of his or her need for protection?
Discussion
Currently, under the Federal Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), juvenile justice agencies are
able to raise a resident’s “failure to exhaust administrative remedies” as an affirmative defense
against a resident’s legal claims brought in Federal court. The purpose of this requirement in
PLRA is to ensure that agencies have an opportunity to respond to a resident’s complaint before
that resident files a lawsuit. Agencies are free to determine the procedures by which a resident
“exhausts administrative remedies” by policy. In practice, many agencies have adopted policies
that require a resident to file a grievance within a relatively short timeframe after the incident
of abuse and then to make multiple appeals of the agency’s response within specific timeframes
to satisfactorily exhaust the agency’s administrative remedies. Policies that require residents
to navigate a complicated grievance procedure within a short time after the abuse can result
in the dismissal of meritorious legal claims by victims of sexual abuse. Although the statute

32

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

of limitations to file a lawsuit may be one year or two depending on the type of claim and the
jurisdiction, residents who fail to file a grievance within one or two weeks after being abused
may be permanently barred from court for failing to “exhaust administrative remedies.”
Victims of sexual abuse are particularly vulnerable to having their claims dismissed for this
reason because the trauma of sexual abuse and fear of retaliation often prevent them from reporting the incident shortly after it occurs. This is especially true for young victims of abuse,
who are not only afraid of retaliation, but also often confused about or unaware of their legal
options and rights. Furthermore, because grievance procedures are generally not designed as
the sole or primary method for reporting incidents of sexual abuse by residents to staff, victims
who do immediately report abuse to authorities may not realize they need to file a grievance as
well to satisfy agency exhaustion requirements. For example, a victim might call the agency’s
sexual abuse reporting hotline immediately but fail to file a grievance within the short timeframe allowed and later be barred from bringing a valid legal claim because of that failure.
This standard recognizes agencies’ legitimate interest in having a reasonable opportunity to respond to notice of abuse before being required to defend themselves in court. It also recognizes
that PREA’s goals are not furthered if residents are deemed to have forfeited their ability to seek
judicial redress for abuse because they have not reported the abuse within a set timeframe after
it occurs. The standard requires agencies to adopt policies by which a resident is deemed to
have exhausted his or her administrative remedies no later than 90 days after a report of sexual
abuse is made and regardless of the time that has elapsed between the abuse and the report.
Any report of sexual abuse should trigger a response by the agency, including an investigation
into the merits of the allegation (IN-1, IN-2), the provision of appropriate medical and mental
health treatment (MM-2, MM-3), and efforts to protect the alleged victim and other residents
from retaliation and future abuse (RP-1). It is possible that the agency will not have completed
its investigation into the report within 90 days, but that is ample time within which the agency
can take appropriate steps to protect the resident and to demonstrate its efforts to find the truth
for the purposes of defending against a lawsuit.
Finally, the standard recognizes that there may be urgent, emergency situations when a resident
seeks an immediate injunction from the court to provide protection from imminent harm. In such
cases, the standard requires an exception to the 90-day waiting period. Because it is incumbent on
the agency to provide protection immediately to a resident who reports a risk of imminent harm,
the agency shall deem the resident’s administrative remedies exhausted 48 hours after such a report is made to any agency employee. A court can determine whether the resident’s request merits
an injunction, but the resident seeking the court’s protection should not be required to wait more
than 48 hours since the nature of such a request is urgent. If the agency has in fact responded
properly to the report or if the report was of such a nature that it did not warrant action on the part
of the agency, a court can make that determination at the time the injunction is sought.

RE-3

Resident access to outside support services and legal representation
In addition to providing on-site mental health care services, the facility provides residents with
access to outside victim advocates for emotional support services related to sexual abuse. The
facility provides such access by giving residents the current mailing addresses and telephone
numbers, including toll-free hotline numbers, of local, State, and/or national victim advocacy
or rape crisis organizations and enabling reasonable communication between residents and
III. Detection and Response

33

these organizations. The facility ensures that communications with such advocates are private,
to the extent allowable by Federal, State, and local law. The facility informs residents, prior to
giving them access, of the extent to which such communications will be private, confidential,
and/or privileged. The facility also provides residents with unimpeded access to their attorney
or other legal representation and their families.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) In addition to providing on-site mental health care services, does the facility provide
residents with the current mailing addresses and telephone numbers, including tollfree hotline numbers, of local, State, and/or national victim advocacy or rape crisis
organizations and enable reasonable communication between residents and these
organizations? (Please attach documentation explaining how the facility provides
residents with access to outside confidential support services related to sexual abuse.)
(b) Are residents able to communicate with outside victim advocates privately in settings
where conversations cannot be overheard?
(c) T
 o ensure privacy of communication, is staff prohibited from reading correspondence
to or from victim advocates?
(d) D
 oes the facility explain to residents, prior to giving them access to outside support
services, the rules governing privacy, confidentiality, and/or privilege that apply for
disclosures of sexual abuse made to outside victim advocates, including any limits
to confidentiality under relevant Federal, State, or local law?
(e) D
 oes the facility provide residents with unimpeded access to their attorney or other
legal representation and their families?
Discussion
Victims of sexual abuse, whether confined or not, often require the support of an advocate.
Working with these advocates, such as rape crisis counselors, is not only an essential part of
treatment for some victims, but can also help victims overcome any reluctance to report the
incident to the appropriate officials. This is especially true for young victims. The Commission
recognizes that in most jurisdictions, outside providers will be unable to provide truly confidential support services due to State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws. In these
jurisdictions, residents who have been victims of abuse in a facility should still have the opportunity to access outside support services if they do not feel comfortable using the services provided within the facility. Although the agency might have qualified mental health practitioners
on staff who can treat sexual abuse victims, some victims may be reluctant to confide in those
practitioners because they see them as part of the institution that failed to protect them from
the abuse. By giving residents the option to communicate with outside advocates, the agency
will ensure that victims have the greatest access to necessary care.
To meet the requirements of this standard, an agency may need to enter an MOU with a community service provider and may find it useful to provide regular opportunities for residents to
meet face-to-face with advocates (RP-3). In addition to these opportunities, free hotlines that
connect residents to rape crisis service groups and/or other victim advocacy groups are encouraged. Agencies that have limited community resources to draw from should at a minimum provide residents with contact information for regional and/or national human rights, advocacy,
and/or counseling organizations. Telephone use to contact outside advocates and/or letters to
service organizations should not be subject to any rules or restrictions governing telephone use
or mail. Administrators need to make certain that residents are able to access outside confidential support services as easily and privately as possible. Residents should never have to explain

34

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

to staff members their reasons for wanting to speak or write to outside advocates before being
allowed to communicate with those providers.
In addition to giving residents access to outside support services, under this standard the agency must ensure that residents also have unimpeded access to their attorney or other legal representation and to their families. Residents are often unaware of their rights in confinement, and
most juvenile facilities do not provide residents with legal materials or a law library. Providing
residents with unimpeded access to legal representation and to their families will not only
help them navigate the legal process, if they need that help, but it will also give them greater
access to adults in the community who may be able to help them if they’re experiencing sexual
threats or abuse.

RE-4

Third-party reporting
The facility receives and investigates all third-party reports of sexual abuse and refers all third-party
reports of abuse to the designated State or local services agency with the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of sexual abuse involving child victims (IN-1 and RP-4). At the conclusion of the investigation, the facility notifies in writing the third-party individual who reported the
abuse and the resident named in the third-party report of the outcome of the investigation. The
facility distributes information on how to report sexual abuse on behalf of a resident to residents’
parents or legal guardians, attorneys, and the public.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the facility receive and investigate all third-party reports of sexual abuse?
(b) Does the facility refer all third-party reports of sexual abuse to the designated State or local
services agency with the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of sexual abuse
involving child victims?
(c) A
 t the conclusion of the investigation, does the facility notify in writing the individual
who reported the abuse and the resident named in the third-party report of the
outcome of the investigation?
(d) D
 oes the facility distribute publicly information on how to report sexual abuse on
behalf of a resident?
Discussion
Information about how to report sexual abuse on behalf of a resident should be available in
multiple languages and in a convenient, easily accessible format. Information may be made
available on a Web site; as part of any preliminary information provided to visitors; or in
brochures, in flyers, or on posters in visiting areas. Regardless of how facilities chooses to
distribute the information, it should convey: (1) the contact information for the corrections official, department, or unit responsible for receiving and responding to third-party allegations;
(2) instructions for what information to include when reporting sexual abuse; (3) notice that
the allegation will be discussed with the victim named in the report; (4) a statement explaining the allegation will be disclosed only to those who need to know to ensure victim safety
and to investigate the allegation; and (5) notice that the facility will inform the individual who
reported the abuse of the outcome of the investigation. The facility should periodically review
and update, if necessary, the information distributed regarding third-party reporting.

III. Detection and Response

35

Official Response Following a Resident Report (OR)

OR-1

Staff and facility head reporting duties
All staff members are required to report immediately and according to agency policy and relevant
State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws any knowledge, suspicion, or information they
receive regarding an incident of sexual abuse that occurred in an institutional setting; retaliation
against residents or staff who reported abuse; and any staff neglect or violation of responsibilities
that may have contributed to an incident of sexual abuse or retaliation. Apart from reporting to
designated supervisors or officials and designated State or local services agencies, staff must not
reveal any information related to a sexual abuse report to anyone other than those who need to
know, as specified in agency policy, to make treatment, investigation, and other security and management decisions. Medical and mental health practitioners are required to report sexual abuse
to designated supervisors and officials as well as the designated State or local services agency and
must inform residents of their duty to report at the initiation of services. Upon receiving any allegation of sexual abuse, the facility head must immediately report the allegation to the agency
head, the juvenile court that handled the victim’s case or the victim’s judge of record, and the victim’s parents or legal guardians, unless the facility has official documentation showing the parents
or legal guardians should not be notified. If the victim is involved in the child welfare system, the
facility head reports to the victim’s caseworker instead of the victim’s parents or legal guardians.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 o staff members report immediately and according to agency policy and relevant
State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws any knowledge, suspicion, or
information they receive regarding an incident of sexual abuse that occurred in an
institutional setting, including any knowledge of retaliation against residents or staff
who reported abuse and any staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have
contributed to an incident of sexual abuse or retaliation?
(b) Do staff members limit information related to any incident of sexual abuse to those
who need to know, as specified in agency policy, to make treatment, investigation, and
other security and management decisions?
(c) D
 o medical and mental health practitioners know and follow their reporting duties,
including their duty to inform residents of their duty to report at the initiation of services?
(d) U
 pon receiving an allegation of sexual abuse, does the facility head immediately notify
the following?
• The agency head
• The juvenile court that handled the victim’s case or the victim’s judge of record
• The victim’s parents or legal guardians, unless there is official documentation
showing the parents or legal guardians should not be notified
• The victim’s caseworker if the victim is involved in the child welfare system
Discussion
Attaining compliance with this standard will require that facility leadership effectively convey to staff that under agency policy and relevant State or local mandatory child abuse
reporting laws, all staff members are mandatory reporters with no discretion to decide
whether to report sexual abuse allegations or any other knowledge or suspicion of sexual
abuse or harassment. The agency should make it clear through policy and practice that the
agency tolerates neither a staff code of silence nor the mishandling or inappropriate sharing

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

of information (i.e., spreading rumors or conveying information to individuals who have no
need to know), and staff should be trained on the difference between spreading rumors and
proper reporting. Additionally, it is critical that all staff members understand exactly what,
when, how, and to whom they are required to report, including whether their responsibilities differ based on the type of offense or the persons involved.
Under relevant State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws, all staff members, including medical and mental health care practitioners in most jurisdictions, are considered mandatory reporters and must report allegations of abuse to the designated State or local services
agency with the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of sexual abuse involving
child victims (RP-4). Additionally, under this standard, medical and mental health care practitioners need to inform residents of their duty to report at the initiation of services. Informing
residents of their duty to report at the initiation of services is critical so that residents know up
front what they can expect to be kept confidential and what they can expect will be reported.
Although the Commission recognizes that some medical and mental health practitioners may
be reluctant to report because of fears that victims will not seek treatment, it nonetheless requires medical and mental health practitioners to report to protect the overall safety and security of the facility as well as the safety of the individual being abused or threatened with abuse.
Apart from the requirement for staff to report allegations to the appropriate supervisors or officials according to agency policy and to the designated State or local services agency under
applicable mandatory child abuse reporting laws, this standard mandates additional reporting
responsibilities for the facility head. Under this standard, upon receiving an allegation, the facility head must immediately report to the agency head, the juvenile court or the judge of record,
and the victim’s parents or legal guardians. However, in some cases, there may be documentation showing that the parents or guardians should not be notified, such as when parental rights
have been terminated or when reporting to the victim’s family may place the victim in specific
identifiable danger or otherwise interfere with his or her treatment or recovery. In these instances, the facility should refrain from notifying the victim’s parents or legal guardians. If the
victim is part of the child welfare system, the victim’s caseworker should be notified in place
of the victim’s parents.

OR-2

Reporting to other confinement facilities
When the facility receives an allegation that a resident was sexually abused while confined at
another facility, the head of the facility where the report was made notifies in writing the head
of the facility where the alleged abuse occurred. The head of the facility where the alleged abuse
occurred ensures the allegation is investigated.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) W
 hen the facility receives an allegation that a resident was sexually abused while
confined at another facility, does the head of the facility where the report was made
notify in writing the head of the facility where the alleged abuse occurred?
(b) If the facility head receives notice that a former resident has alleged sexual abuse while
confined at his or her facility, does he or she ensure that the allegation is investigated?

III. Detection and Response

37

Discussion
Residents who have been sexually abused while confined at a detention facility may feel safer
reporting the abuse once they are no longer housed at the facility where the abuse occurred.
For example, a resident who was sexually abused at a pre-adjudication short-term confinement
facility may wait until he or she is transferred to his or her post-adjudication long-term placement to report. Similarly, someone abused while confined in juvenile detention may choose
to report once he or she is in the custody of a community corrections agency. The head of the
facility where the report is made needs to be prepared to notify the appropriate authorities immediately. By the same token, as required by the standard, the head of the agency or facility
where the alleged abuse occurred must ensure that the allegation is investigated. This effort to
communicate and share information across agencies and facilities should improve safety and
security for all residents and staff.

OR-3

Staff first responder duties
Upon learning that a resident was sexually abused within a time period that still allows for the collection of physical evidence, the first direct care staff member to respond to the report is required to
(1) separate the alleged victim and abuser; (2) seal and preserve any crime scene(s); and (3) instruct
the victim not to take any 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–direct care staff member, he or she is required to instruct the victim
not to take any actions that could destroy physical evidence and then notify direct care staff.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Upon learning of an incident of sexual abuse that occurred within a time period that
still allows for the collection of physical evidence, does the first direct care staff
member to respond separate victims from abusers; seal and preserve any crime
scene(s); and instruct victims not to wash, brush their teeth, change their clothes,
urinate, defecate, smoke, drink, or eat?
(b) If a non–direct care staff member is the first staff responder to an incident of sexual abuse,
does he or she instruct victims not to wash, brush their teeth, change their clothes, urinate,
defecate, smoke, drink, or eat and then notify direct care staff?
Discussion
In addition to reporting the abuse according to agency policy and relevant State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws, the first direct care staff member who learns of a resident being
sexually abused is responsible for ensuring that the victim is safe and any physical evidence is
preserved until an investigator arrives. At the time of publication of this body of standards, the
commonly accepted time limit for collecting physical evidence is 96 hours. To carry out their
duties effectively, direct care staff members will need to be able to counsel victims who may
be in distress while maintaining security and control over the crime scene(s). In the event that
a non–direct care staff member is the first staff responder, he or she needs to be prepared to
instruct victims not to take any actions that could destroy physical evidence and then immediately notify direct care staff.

38

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

OR-4

Coordinated response
All actions taken in response to an incident of sexual abuse are coordinated among staff first responders, medical and mental health practitioners, investigators, victim advocates, and facility
leadership. The facility’s coordinated response ensures that victims receive all necessary immediate
and ongoing medical, mental health, and support services and that investigators are able to obtain
usable evidence to substantiate allegations and hold perpetrators accountable.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Are all actions taken in response to an incident of sexual abuse coordinated among
staff first responders, medical and mental health practitioners, investigators, victim
advocates, and facility leadership?
(b) Does the facility’s coordinated response ensure that victims receive all necessary immediate
and ongoing medical, mental health, and support services?
(c) D
 oes the facility’s coordinated response ensure that investigators are able to obtain
usable evidence to substantiate allegations and hold perpetrators accountable?
Discussion
In the community, coordinated sexual assault response teams (SARTs) are recognized as a best
practice for responding to incidents of rape and other sexual abuse because they enable key
responders from the medical, advocacy, and law enforcement fields to coordinate their actions
and share information, helping the victim receive the best care and providing the investigator
with the best chance to find the perpetrator. SARTs are generally composed of representatives
from the medical and mental health fields, victim advocacy groups (usually from local or regional rape crisis centers), and law enforcement agencies. Although some juvenile justice agencies already use some version of a SART or specialized first response team, or they participate
in an existing specialized community response team, the Commission recognizes that not all
agencies are equipped to organize a specialized team or spearhead a community SART. The
Commission urges those agencies to work toward developing such a team by working with
community or regional law enforcement agencies, outside medical and mental health providers, and sexual abuse advocacy groups to establish a coordinated plan to address victims’
needs and improve sexual abuse investigation outcomes. At the time of publication of these
standards, the Commission recommends agencies consult the 2004 U.S. Department of Justice’s
Office on Violence Against Women publication “A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical
Forensic Examinations, Adults/Adolescents” for guidance and ideas on developing an approach
to a coordinated response to sexual abuse.
Regardless of whether or not the agency uses a designated response team or participates in a community SART, the standard requires that all actions taken in response to an incident of sexual abuse
be coordinated among staff first responders, medical and mental health practitioners, investigators, victim advocates, and facility leadership. To ensure the best treatment for victims and the
greatest likelihood of holding perpetrators accountable, a number of actions should be coordinated,
including: (1) assessing the victim’s acute medical needs to determine if he or she needs to be
stabilized and/or treated for injuries, conditions, or potential risks; (2) informing the victim of his
or her rights under relevant Federal and/or State crime victims’ rights laws; (3) giving the victim
the option of undergoing a forensic medical exam for the purpose of collecting and documenting
physical evidence of abuse; (4) having a victim advocate available to the resident victim during the
forensic medical exam; (5) providing crisis intervention counseling for the victim before and after
the forensic medical exam; (6) interviewing victims and witnesses; (7) collecting evidence; and (8)
providing for any special needs a victim might have. The coordinated response should also take into
III. Detection and Response

39

account the unique needs of young victims of sexual abuse, who may be particularly frightened,
traumatized, and confused by the forensic medical exam and evidence collection process. As such,
the use of a victim advocate who has experience in working with youth will be particularly helpful
for ensuring that the agency is able to collect evidence, treat the victim’s injuries, and provide the
victim with appropriate and effective crisis intervention counseling.

OR-5

Agency protection against retaliation
The agency protects all residents and staff who report sexual abuse or cooperate with sexual abuse
investigations from retaliation by other residents or staff. The agency employs multiple protection
measures, including housing changes or transfers for resident victims or abusers, removal of alleged
staff or resident abusers from contact with victims, and emotional support services for residents or
staff who fear retaliation for reporting sexual abuse or cooperating with investigations. The agency
monitors the conduct and/or treatment of residents or staff who have reported sexual abuse or
cooperated with investigations, including any resident disciplinary reports, housing, or program
changes, for at least 90 days following their report or cooperation to see if there are changes that
may suggest possible retaliation by residents or staff. The agency discusses any changes with the
appropriate resident or staff member as part of its efforts to determine if retaliation is taking place
and, when confirmed, immediately takes steps to protect the resident or staff member.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency employ the following measures to protect residents and staff from
retaliation for reporting sexual abuse?
• Housing changes or transfers for resident victims or abusers
• Removal of alleged staff or resident abusers from contact with victims
• Employee assistance services or other resources for staff who may need psychological
or emotional support
• Available support services for residents who may need psychological or emotional support
(b) Does the agency monitor the conduct and/or treatment of residents or staff who
have reported sexual abuse or cooperated with investigations, including any resident
disciplinary reports, housing changes, or program changes, for at least 90 days following their report or cooperation to see if there are changes that may suggest possible
retaliation by residents or staff?
(c) When changes have been identified, does the agency discuss those changes with the
appropriate resident or staff member as part of its efforts to determine if retaliation is
taking place?
(d) When retaliation has been confirmed, does the agency immediately take steps to
protect the resident or staff member?
Discussion
Fear of retaliation prevents many residents and staff from reporting sexual abuse and impedes
the ability of the agency to protect the safety and security of its facilities. Retaliation can take
many forms. For example, one or more residents may assault another resident for “snitching.”
An accused staff member or his or her staff allies may suddenly start giving disciplinary tickets
to the resident who made the allegation. A staff member who reports abuse by another staff
member may find that he or she is being snubbed or isolated by other staff. The agency should
use every means possible, from information conveyed in training sessions to strict reporting
policies to strong disciplinary sanctions for retaliation, to discourage retaliation in any form.

40

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

The agency should be alert to the possibility of retaliation from the outset and should initiate
and maintain protective measures for as long as it deems necessary. The agency will have to
weigh a number of circumstances when deciding how best to protect residents and staff members who report sexual abuse. When collective bargaining agreements limit an agency’s ability
to remove accused staff members from contact positions with residents who have alleged staffon-resident sexual abuse or harassment, the agency should develop and implement alternative
protective measures. In general, agencies should try to secure collective bargaining agreements
that do not limit their ability to protect residents or staff from retaliation.
The agency’s protective measures can be adjusted throughout the investigation as necessary,
but this does not obviate the agency’s obligation to take immediate and continuing steps to
guard against retaliation. Although addressing the situation may require a housing transfer,
facility officials should make every reasonable effort to minimize the disruption caused to the
resident’s daily life, including access to education, programs, and other facility privileges.

Investigations (IN)

IN-1

Duty to investigate
The facility investigates all allegations of sexual abuse, including third-party and anonymous reports, and notifies victims and/or other complainants in writing of investigation outcomes and
any disciplinary or criminal sanctions, regardless of the source of the allegation. If additional parties
were notified of the allegation (OR-1), the facility notifies those parties in writing of investigation
outcomes. All investigations are carried through to completion, regardless of whether the alleged
abuser or victim remains at the facility and regardless of whether the source of the allegation recants his or her allegation.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the facility investigate all allegations of sexual abuse from all sources, including
third-party and anonymous reports?
(b) Does the facility notify victims and other complainants in writing of investigation outcomes
and any disciplinary or criminal sanctions?
(c) If additional parties were notified of the allegation (OR-1), does the facility notify those
parties in writing of investigation outcomes?
(d) A
 re all investigations carried through to completion, regardless of whether the alleged
abuser or victim remains at the facility?
(e) A
 re all investigations carried through to completion, regardless of whether the source
of the allegation recants his or her allegation?
Discussion
One of the challenges agencies face when investigating allegations of sexual abuse is resident
and staff reluctance to report the abuse, whether as victims or as witnesses. This reluctance to
report leads to delayed reporting, changed stories, noncooperation, and difficulties obtaining
physical evidence. By investigating all allegations of sexual abuse and carrying those investigations through to completion, agencies send a strong message that sexual abuse is taken seriously and will not be tolerated, thereby encouraging all residents to report.

III. Detection and Response

41

Carrying investigations through to completion means making sure that an investigation continues even if the source of the report recants his or her allegation; an alleged staff perpetrator transfers, resigns, or retires; or an alleged resident perpetrator or victim is transferred or
released from custody during an investigation. Many times, residents may come forward with
a report and then quickly recant due to fear of retaliation or confusion or fear of the investigation process. Consistent application of these practices helps assure the reporting party and
others who may be considering reporting sexual abuse or cooperating with the investigation
that reports and cooperation will not be fruitless. This assurance is critical given the risks often
inherent to reporting sexual abuse and cooperating in an investigation of sexual abuse, both
for staff and residents. Continuing investigations after the alleged abuser has left the facility
helps ensure that an abuser does not escape accountability and will not remain undetected in
another facility or in another jurisdiction and thus can be critical to preventing further abuse.
This should be an important risk management consideration for any agency.
This standard requires that victims and complainants be notified of the final investigative
outcome (e.g., unfounded/unsubstantiated/substantiated) and any disciplinary or criminal
sanctions imposed pursuant to a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse. When the investigative outcome is modified pursuant to review, appeal, or arbitration after notification has taken
place, the victim/complainant should be notified of the modified outcome.
The “source” of an allegation of sexual abuse that triggers the duty to investigate may come
in the form of evidence obtained during the investigation of a violent incident, or even death,
within the facility that does not appear to have any connection to sexual abuse. Facilities
should be attuned to the fact that sexual abuse may be the motivating factor behind seemingly
unrelated assaults, suicides, and homicides within their facilities. Forensic autopsies should be
employed whenever possible to determine whether sexual abuse occurred prior to the act of
violence or suicide being investigated.
Lastly, if the facility head reported the allegation to the victim’s parents or legal guardians, the
juvenile court or the judge of record, or the child welfare system caseworker, as required by
standard OR-1, the facility head must follow up with these parties and report the investigation
outcomes to them in writing. Because all these parties have a stake in the child’s welfare and
safety while he or she is confined, they have a right to know what the investigation concluded
about the allegation. Moreover, notifying them in writing of investigation outcomes gives them
an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the child if they have any reservations or concerns
about the investigative finding.

IN-2

Criminal and administrative agency investigations
Agency investigations into allegations of sexual abuse are prompt, thorough, objective, and conducted by investigators who have received special training in sexual abuse investigations involving
young victims (TR-4). When outside agencies investigate sexual abuse, the facility has a duty to
keep abreast of the investigation and cooperate with outside investigators (RP-4). Investigations
include the following elements:
• Investigations are initiated and completed within the time frames established by the highestranking facility official, and the highest-ranking official approves the final investigative report.
42

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

• Investigators 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 sexual abuse involving the suspected perpetrator; and potentially
corroborating physical or other evidence.
• When the quality of evidence appears to support criminal prosecution, prosecutors are
contacted to determine whether compelled interviews may be an obstacle for subsequent
criminal prosecution.
• Investigative findings are based on an analysis of the evidence gathered and a determination of
its probative value.
• The credibility of a victim, suspect, or witness is assessed on an individual basis and is not determined by the person’s status as resident or staff.
• Investigations include an effort to determine whether staff negligence or collusion enabled the
abuse to occur.
• Administrative investigations are documented in written reports that include a description of
the physical and testimonial evidence and the reasoning behind credibility assessments.
• Criminal investigations are documented in a written report that contains a thorough description of physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence and provides a proposed list of exhibits.
• Substantiated allegations of conduct that appears to be criminal are referred for prosecution.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Are agency investigations of allegations of sexual abuse conducted only by
investigators who have received special training in sexual abuse investigations
involving young victims (TR-4)?
(b) When outside agencies investigate sexual abuse, does the facility keep abreast of the
investigation and cooperate with outside investigators (RP-4)?
(c) A
 re investigations of allegations of sexual abuse initiated and completed within
prompt timeframes established by the facility?
(d) D
 o investigations include a review of all direct and circumstantial evidence, including
physical and DNA evidence when available; interviews of alleged victims, suspected
perpetrators, and witnesses; and prior complaints and reports of sexual abuse or
misconduct involving the suspected perpetrator?
(e) D
 oes the facility contact prosecutors when the quality of evidence appears to support
criminal prosecution to determine whether compelled interviews may be an obstacle
for subsequent criminal prosecution?
(f) A
 re investigative findings based on the analysis of the evidence gathered and a
determination of its probative value?
(g) D
 o investigators assess the credibility of a victim, suspect, or witness on an individualized basis, rather than using the person’s status as resident or staff to assess credibility?
(h) D
 o investigations include an effort to determine whether staff negligence or collusion
enabled the abuse to occur?
(i) A
 re administrative investigations documented in written reports that include a
description of the physical and testimonial evidence and the reasoning behind
credibility assessments?
(j) A
 re criminal investigations documented in a written report that contains a
thorough description of physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence and
provides a proposed list of exhibits?
(k) A
 re substantiated allegations of conduct that appear to be criminal referred
for prosecution?

III. Detection and Response

43

Discussion
This standard addresses criminal and administrative investigations carried out by the agency
or outside law enforcement agencies. It does not address the third type of investigation that
local or State service agencies may have the jurisdiction and authority to conduct. There are
significant differences in how criminal and administrative investigations are conducted, and
it is critically important to keep these investigations separate. However, certain elements are
important to both types of investigation, and the standard addresses these elements.
The standard requires that effective investigations be initiated and completed promptly so that
physical evidence is available and usable and before memories have faded. Prompt investigations also give credence to an agency’s zero-tolerance commitment to end sexual abuse. Prompt
investigations improve facility safety and morale by ensuring that wrongly accused subjects are
exonerated as quickly as possible and that abusers are detected and removed and/or handled
as quickly as possible. Agencies or facilities should ensure that established timelines provide
sufficient time for investigators to complete the investigation and for the review process to be
completed. However, investigations and their reviews should be completed within the constraints
imposed by statutes of limitation or terms and conditions of collective bargaining agreements so
as to ensure that the facility has the ability to impose discipline when allegations are substantiated.
This standard also reflects the importance of investigations being conducted by investigators with the skills, objectivity, and sensitivity to resolve allegations credibly and with
well-documented evidence. As the standard reflects, investigators must always be trained in
conducting sexual abuse investigations involving young victims (TR-4). This includes using
interview techniques that are specific and sensitive to young victims, who may find it especially difficult to trust an investigator and openly discuss their victimization.
In cases of alleged staff-on-resident sexual abuse or harassment, the agency will need to make
extra efforts to ensure that those investigations are objective and thorough and should consider
using outside investigators whenever possible to ensure the appearance as well as the reality
of impartiality.
Because sexual abuse often has no witnesses and does not leave visible injury, investigators
must be assiduous in searching out other kinds of direct and circumstantial evidence. To be
successful, this requirement, like the other requirements of this standard, will need to be bolstered by investigator training and strong facility policies.
The type of direct and circumstantial evidence that can be gathered and analyzed will vary
depending on the nature of the allegation. When forced intercourse or similar abuse is alleged,
for example, properly conducted forensic exams may yield DNA evidence. When staff-resident
relationships are alleged, investigators should search for potentially corroborating evidence,
such as telephone records, gifts, letters, and similar items. Investigators should also conduct
a review of prior complaints of sexual abuse as well as disciplinary findings in those cases—
including from other facilities or jurisdictions, whenever possible—as such information may
suggest repeated patterns of behavior that bear on the credibility of the suspected abuser. Unless State law specifies otherwise, agencies or facilities should maintain those records for the
duration of the resident’s sentence or staff member’s employment.
Credibility assessments play an important role in the investigation of sexual abuse, as in any
other investigation, and particularly so when there is no physical evidence. Properly trained
investigators and agency officials must assess the truthfulness of alleged victims, suspected

44

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

abusers, and witnesses (if there are any) based on a careful consideration of individual factors
pertinent to each person (e.g., his or her possible motivations, opportunity, prior history of
truthfulness, consistency of statements, etc.). Assumptions about truthfulness should not be
based simply on the fact that a person is a resident or member of the staff. The Commission
especially cautions against automatically believing staff and disbelieving residents when their
statements contradict each other.
As this standard reflects, an important aspect of investigations of sexual abuse allegations is
determining whether any staff negligence or collusion may have played a role in facilitating or
causing the sexual abuse. This inquiry is critical to preventing future sexual abuse and is an
important risk management tool for agencies.
As do several other standards, this standard recognizes the importance of coordinating with
prosecuting authorities in cases involving sexual abuse allegations. This standard does not advocate delaying the initiation of the administration investigation until the decision of whether
to prosecute has been made. However, to avoid compromising criminal investigations, investigators must contact prosecuting authorities before taking any compelled statements of subjects
in potentially criminal cases. Agencies also must refer criminal cases for prosecution whenever
the evidence indicates that the abuse appears to be criminal.

IN-3

Evidence standard for administrative investigations
Allegations of sexual abuse are substantiated if supported by a preponderance of the evidence.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Are allegations of sexual abuse substantiated if supported by a preponderance of
the evidence?
Discussion
The goal of this standard is to ensure that the agency uses a standard of proof that is fair to
all parties and appropriate for administrative action. This standard of proof applies to both
administrative hearings as well as resident disciplinary hearings, and requires investigators to
use the preponderance of the evidence standard that is commonly used in administrative investigations as well as in civil suits involving sexual abuse. The preponderance of the evidence
standard requires that an allegation be substantiated when the evidence shows that it is more
likely than not that the alleged abuse occurred. Administrative cases do not require that allegations be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Some facilities may establish lower thresholds for substantiating allegations of sexual abuse.
This standard does not require that such facilities raise the threshold to the preponderance of
evidence standard.
When available evidence is insufficient to substantiate an allegation, it may also be insufficient to prove that the alleged abuse did not occur. Such allegations may be determined to be
unsubstantiated but cannot properly be categorized as unfounded. Where there are numerous
unfounded allegations in a facility, administrators may want to review the quality of the investigations and closely scrutinize policies and protocols because numerous unfounded incidents
may indicate problems with the way investigations are being conducted or reveal unknown
incidents that actually did occur.
III. Detection and Response

45

Discipline (DI)

DI-1

Disciplinary sanctions for staff
Staff is subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including termination when staff has violated
agency sexual abuse policies. The presumptive disciplinary sanction for staff members who have
engaged in sexually abusive contact or penetration is termination. This presumption does not
limit agency discretion to impose termination for other sexual abuse policy violations. All terminations for violations of agency sexual abuse policies are to be reported to law enforcement agencies
and any relevant licensing bodies.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) When staff has violated agency sexual abuse policies, has the staff member received
sanctions up to and including termination?
(b) Do the disciplinary sanctions imposed indicate that the presumptive disciplinary sanction
for staff who has engaged in sexually abusive contact or penetration is termination?
(c) D
 oes the agency report to law enforcement agencies and any relevant licensing bodies
all individuals terminated by the agency for violating agency sexual abuse policies?
Discussion
Imposing significant disciplinary sanctions for sexual abuse is a critical component of communicating an agency’s zero-tolerance of sexual abuse and developing a culture of safety and
accountability. The goal of this standard is to ensure fair and consistent accountability for staff
members who have violated agency sexual abuse policies and procedures, regardless of whether they are found guilty in criminal proceedings. Violations that require disciplinary sanctions
pursuant to this standard include engaging in actual or attempted abuse or harassment, failing
to report an incident of sexual abuse, failing to limit information received about an allegation
to those who need to know, failing to cooperate with a sexual abuse investigation, engaging in
retaliation against residents or staff who report abuse, and failing to follow any other agency
policy regarding sexual abuse in which staff was trained.
Disciplinary hearings for adjudicating allegations of attempted or actual staff-on-resident sexual abuse or sexual harassment should be fair, and sanctions should be proportional to the
nature and circumstances of the accused staff member’s conduct, his or her disciplinary history, and the sanctions meted out for comparable offenses by other staff with similar histories.
Sanctions may entail training and counseling. The sanctions should be sufficiently serious in
all cases to communicate to all staff and residents the agency’s refusal to tolerate sexual abuse
or any conduct that impedes its efforts to eliminate it.
This standard requires that termination be the “presumptive” but not the mandatory sanction
for certain types of sexual abuse in recognition of the fact that disciplinary sanctions must be
determined on a case-by-case basis. Establishing termination as a presumption places a heavy
burden on the staff person found to have committed the abuse to demonstrate why termination
is not the appropriate sanction. This presumption also requires that termination should be the
rule for the referenced types of sexual abuse, with exceptions made only in extraordinary circumstances. As the standard reflects, although termination is not the presumption for all types
of sexual abuse, it may be the appropriate sanction for instances of sexual abuse less severe
than sexually abusive contact or penetration.
This standard is not meant to increase the employment rights of staff who are at-will employees.

46

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

DI-2

Interventions for residents who engage in sexual abuse
Residents receive appropriate interventions if they engage in resident-on-resident sexual abuse.
Decisions regarding which types of interventions to use in particular cases, including treatment,
counseling, educational programs, or disciplinary sanctions, are made with the goal of promoting
improved behavior by the resident and ensuring the safety of other residents and staff. When imposing disciplinary sanctions in lieu of or in addition to other interventions, the facility informs residents of their rights and responsibilities during the disciplinary process, including how to appeal
sanctions, and only imposes sanctions commensurate with the type of violation committed and
the resident’s disciplinary history. Intervention decisions must take into account the social, sexual,
emotional, and cognitive development of the resident and the resident’s mental health status.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 o residents receive appropriate interventions if they engage in resident-on-resident
sexual abuse with the goal of promoting improved behavior by the resident and
ensuring the safety of other residents and staff?
(b) When imposing disciplinary sanctions in lieu of or in addition to other interventions,
does the facility inform residents of their rights and responsibilities under the disciplinary process, including how to appeal sanctions?
(c) W
 hen imposing disciplinary sanctions in lieu of or in addition to other interventions,
does the facility only impose sanctions that are commensurate with the type of
violation committed and the resident’s disciplinary history?
(d) D
 oes the facility take into account the following when determining the appropriate
interventions for a resident who engages in resident-on-resident sexual abuse?
• Social, sexual, emotional, and cognitive development of the resident
• Resident’s mental health status
Discussion
Under this standard, facilities are required to provide a range of interventions to residents who
engage in sexual abuse, including treatment, counseling, special education or life skills programs, increased supervision, or disciplinary sanctions. The interventions should be designed to
encourage better behavior by the resident and foster a safer environment for other residents and
staff. By giving the resident positive tools, support, and supervision, these interventions should
help the resident develop a sense of responsibility and accountability for his or her actions. If a
facility decides to impose disciplinary sanctions on a resident, those sanctions should be proportional to the accused resident’s conduct, his or her disciplinary history, and the sanctions meted
out for comparable offenses by other residents with similar histories. Under this standard, discipline should only be meted out after residents have been provided with due process.
The agency’s process for determining whether to impose disciplinary sanctions and which
sanctions to impose should take into consideration any mental health problems that may have
contributed to the resident’s abusive behavior. Further, isolation as a disciplinary sanction is
harmful for all residents, especially residents with mental illness, because the isolating conditions may have the potential to aggravate symptoms of mental illness and/or limit their access
to needed mental health services. As such, disciplining a resident with prolonged periods of
isolation is potentially very dangerous for the resident and is strongly discouraged.
Additionally, appropriate interventions for residents should take into consideration the normal
course of adolescent psychosocial and sexual development, which often includes periods of
increased sexual desires, sexual experimentation, and masturbation. Residents will experience
III. Detection and Response

47

numerous physiological and emotional changes during their period of confinement, including physical maturation and development, an increase in hormone levels, and an increased desire to engage
in sexual activity. Additionally, residents may engage in masturbation or self-experimentation, and
such actions should not be subject to disciplinary sanctions unless they purposefully occur in front
of staff, are directed toward other residents, or are otherwise disruptive in nature. Direct training on
adolescent development will enable staff to understand and better differentiate normal adolescent
experimental behavior from sexually aggressive and dangerous behavior (TR-1).

MM-1

Medical and Mental Health Care (MM)
Medical and mental health intake screenings
During medical and mental health reception and intake screenings, qualified medical or mental health practitioners talk with residents to ascertain information regarding the resident’s sexual orientation, gender identity, prior sexual victimization or history of engaging in sexual abuse
(whether it occurred in an institutional setting or in the community), mental health status, and
mental or physical disabilities. Such conversations are conducted in the manner that the medical
or mental health practitioner deems appropriate for each resident in light of the resident’s age
and developmental status according to the practitioner’s professional judgment and use inclusive
language that avoids implicit assumptions about a young person’s sexual orientation. The information obtained during these screenings is strictly limited to medical and mental health practitioners, with information provided to appropriate staff on a need to know basis to the extent
needed to inform all housing, bed, program, education, and work assignments for the resident
(AP-2). If a resident discloses prior sexual victimization or abusiveness during a medical or mental
health reception or intake screening, the practitioner reports the abuse according to agency
policy and relevant State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws (OR-1) and provides
the appropriate treatment or referral for treatment, based on his or her professional judgment.
Assessment Checklist
(a) During medical and mental health reception and intake screenings, do qualified medical
or mental health practitioners talk with residents to ascertain information regarding
the resident’s sexual orientation, gender identity, prior sexual victimization or history
of engaging in sexual abuse (whether it occurred in an institutional setting or in the
community), mental health status, and mental or physical disabilities?
(b) Are such conversations conducted in a manner that the medical or mental health practitioner
deems appropriate for each resident according to the practitioner’s professional judgment, using
inclusive language that avoids implicit assumptions about a young person’s sexual orientation?
(c) Is the information ascertained during medical and mental health reception and intake
screenings used by appropriate direct care staff to inform all housing, bed, program,
education, and work assignments for the resident (AP-2)?
(d) If a resident discloses prior sexual victimization or abusiveness during a medical or
mental health reception or intake screening, does the practitioner report the abuse
according to standard OR-1 and provide appropriate treatment or referral for treatment
based on his or her professional judgment?
(e) Do medical and mental health practitioners strictly limit information obtained during medical
and mental health reception or intake screenings to the medical and mental health care staff,
with information provided to direct care staff on a need to know basis, as required by agency
policy and Federal, State, or local law, to inform treatment plans and placement decisions?

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

YES

NO

Discussion
Facilities typically perform a brief health screening of each resident upon his or her arrival, followed by a more comprehensive assessment within seven days after admission. Before asking
residents questions about prior sexual victimization, engaging in sexual abuse, or the resident’s
sexual orientation or gender identity, medical and/or mental health practitioners should inform
residents that they are not required to answer sensitive questions if they would prefer not
to. Not all residents will feel comfortable answering such questions, and practitioners should
respect refusals to answer those questions and not press for answers. During intake screenings or subsequently, a resident may disclose information about victimization that occurred,
whether in a confinement setting or in the community. Incidents of abuse that happened many
years ago might still require treatment, and medical and mental health practitioners should
exercise their professional judgment to determine what treatment to recommend. Similarly,
mental health practitioners should exercise their professional judgment to determine whether a
resident who discloses prior sexually abusive behavior, regardless of when it occurred, requires
treatment such as counseling or other therapeutic interventions.
If a resident discloses an incident of sexual abuse that occurred within a time period in which
physical evidence may still be collected, the medical and/or mental health practitioner is required to provide access to emergency medical treatment and crisis intervention services(MM-2)
and follow the agency’s evidence protocol (RP-2). At the time of publication of this body of standards, 96 hours is the timeframe commonly accepted and used by medical and mental health
practitioners, corrections professionals, and criminal investigators.
When discussing sexual orientation and gender identity with residents, medical and mental
health practitioners should use their professional judgment and appropriate interview techniques with residents. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth may be in various stages
of awareness and comfort with their sexual orientation and gender identity, and they may not
have resolved these issues in their own minds. Facility staff should anticipate the understandable reticence of young people to disclose this information, particularly if they do not know
what the consequences of disclosure will be, and staff should use their professional judgment
to determine how best to talk with each child. In general, it is best to avoid direct questions
and instead use an approach that helps residents feel safe enough to disclose information about
themselves. For example, practitioners might use open-ended questions that do not make implicit assumptions about a young person’s sexual orientation. No practitioner should ask questions that convey value judgments about or bias toward any orientation. Because residents may
be experiencing fear or confusion associated with their first hours of confinement, practitioners
may decide that some questions should be asked again during any comprehensive medical and
mental health assessment as well as during any follow-up medical or mental health screenings.
The information obtained during medical and mental health reception and intake is vital to
keeping residents safe and should therefore be considered carefully by the appropriate staff
when determining housing, bed, program, education, and work placements for residents (AP-2).
It is recommended that medical and mental health practitioners work in conjunction with
direct care staff to determine the most appropriate placements for residents. By having medical
or mental health care practitioners ask questions about sexual orientation, gender identity, prior
sexual victimization, history of abusiveness, mental health status, and physical disabilities, the
facility can ensure that the information needed to keep the residents safe is asked and known
by the appropriate people in nonthreatening, private environments. To ensure that the sensitive
information shared with medical and mental health practitioners is helpful to keeping residents
safe and does not place the resident in danger of bullying, harassment, or further victimization
III. Detection and Response

49

during confinement, the information obtained through intake and reception screenings is only
shared with direct care staff on a need to know basis to determine the appropriate placements
within the facility and is otherwise kept private in accordance with agency policy and Federal,
State, or local law.

MM-2

Access to emergency medical and mental health services
Victims of sexual abuse have timely, unimpeded access to emergency medical treatment and crisis intervention services, the nature and scope of which are determined by medical and mental
health practitioners according to their professional judgment. Treatment services must be provided free of charge to the victim and regardless of whether the victim names the abuser. If no
qualified medical or mental health practitioners are on duty at the time a report of recent abuse
is made, direct care staff first responders take preliminary steps to protect the victim (OR-3) and
immediately notify the appropriate medical and mental health practitioners.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Do residents have timely, unimpeded free access to emergency medical treatment and
crisis intervention services, the nature and scope of which are determined by medical
and mental health practitioners according to their professional judgment?
(b) Are treatment services provided free of charge to the victim?
(c) Are treatment services provided regardless of whether the victim names the abuser?
(d) If no qualified medical or mental health practitioners are on duty at the time a report is
made, do direct care staff first responders take preliminary steps to protect the victim
(OR-3) and immediately notify the appropriate medical and mental health practitioners?
Discussion
Under this standard, the facility is required to provide emergency medical treatment and crisis
intervention services free of charge to victims of sexual abuse. Such services may include, but
are not limited to: (1) assessing the victim’s acute medical and mental health needs as soon as
possible; (2) obtaining consent for treatment from the victim, unless the victim is under 18;
(3) treating the victim’s acute medical and mental health needs as soon as possible; (4) documenting the victim’s acute medical and mental health needs and treatment provided as soon
as possible; (5) providing support and crisis intervention services; and (6) providing access to
a forensic medical exam and, if the victim agrees to an exam, ensuring agency protocol is followed whenever there may be physical evidence of sexual abuse (RP-2).
The standard’s requirement that medical and mental health services be provided even when
the victim refuses to name the abuser means that victims must be able to meet with medical or
mental health practitioners without having to disclose details of the abuse to an officer or other
direct care staff member. As such, agencies may need to adapt their sick-call policies to allow
residents to access medical and mental health care practitioners without having to describe
their victimization.

50

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

MM-3

Ongoing medical and mental health care for sexual abuse victims and abusers
The facility provides ongoing medical and/or mental health evaluation and treatment to all known
victims of sexual abuse. The evaluation and treatment of sexual abuse victims must include appropriate follow-up services, treatment plans, and, when necessary, referrals for continued care following their release from custody. The level of medical and mental health care provided to resident
victims must match the community level of 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.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 oes the facility provide ongoing medical and/or mental health evaluation and
treatment to all known victims of sexual abuse?
(b) Does the evaluation and treatment of victims include the following?
• Appropriate follow-up services
• Treatment plans
• When necessary, referrals for continued care for sexual abuse victims following their
release from custody
(c) D
 oes the level of medical and mental health care provided to resident victims match
the level of care generally accepted by the medical and mental health professional
communities?
(d) Does the facility conduct a mental health evaluation of all known abusers?
(e) Does the facility provide treatment for abusers, as deemed necessary by qualified
mental health practitioners?
Discussion
Victims of sexual abuse can experience a range of physical injuries and emotional reactions,
even long after the abuse has occurred, that require medical or mental health attention. As required by this standard, the facility must be able to ensure that all victims receive the appropriate medical and/or mental health services recommended by qualified practitioners. Follow-up
evaluations, assessments, and treatment may include the following actions: (1) reviewing any
medical and mental health treatment provided immediately following the incident, including
whether a forensic medical exam was performed; (2) diagnosing any lingering acute or nonacute physical injuries, including oral trauma; and (3) assessing the psychological impact of
the victimization, including the risk of suicide or self-harm and any resulting mental health
treatment needs. These follow-up evaluations and assessments will enable mental health and
medical practitioners to determine and provide the most appropriate treatment for the resident,
which could include mental health treatment, medical treatment, or both. Reviewing and adjusting victim treatment plans at regular, clinically appropriate intervals will allow the agency
to provide the most comprehensive and appropriate care for as long as treatment is required.
Victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse, whether recent or historical, are at risk for sexually
transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Regardless of whether a resident has accepted
prevention or treatment for STIs, medical practitioners ought to offer and strongly encourage
him or her to be tested for HIV and viral hepatitis six to eight weeks following the sexual abuse.
Young victims may be particularly traumatized or confused by certain treatments, such as STI
testing. All treatments should be age appropriate, and efforts should be made to thoroughly
explain any treatment or test before administering it to residents.

III. Detection and Response

51

In accordance with this standard’s requirement to provide victims with the level of care generally accepted in the medical and mental health professional communities, if there has been
vaginal penetration, victims who have been recently abused should be offered pregnancy tests,
when appropriate, at the time of the medical evaluation and, if the test is negative, should be
offered retesting approximately six weeks thereafter. Victims who have positive tests should
receive counseling and have access to all pregnancy-related medical services that are lawful in
the community.
Additionally, this standard requires mental health evaluation and treatment, when appropriate, of all known abusers. Mental health practitioners may find that ongoing mental health
treatment, including counseling, group programs, or other therapeutic interventions, may be
beneficial to abusers. Providing mental health treatment to abusers may help them develop
better control over their actions and improve their conduct; in doing so, such treatment may
help reduce the likelihood of recidivism and thereby improve facility safety. As noted in the
standard, the agency’s mental health practitioners must use their professional judgment to determine the appropriate treatment and services for individuals with a recent or previous history
of sexual abusiveness.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

IV. MONITORING
Data Collection and Review (DC)

DC-1

Sexual abuse incident reviews
The facility treats 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/mental
health practitioners. The review team evaluates each incident of sexual abuse to identify any
policy, training, or other issues related to the incident that indicate a need to change policy or
practice to better prevent, detect, and/or respond to incidents of sexual abuse. The review team
also considers whether incidents were motivated by racial or other group dynamics at the facility. When incidents are determined to be motivated by racial or other group dynamics, upper
management officials immediately notify the agency head and begin taking steps to rectify those
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 prepares a report of its findings and recommendations for improvement and submits it to
the facility head.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does a team of upper management officials, with input from line supervisors,
investigators, and medical/mental health practitioners, review the details of each
incident of sexual abuse following every sexual abuse investigation, unless the
allegation was determined to be unfounded?
(b) Does the team use the review of each incident of sexual abuse to identify any policy, training, or other issues related to the incident that indicate a need to change policy or practice
to better prevent, detect, and/or respond to incidents of sexual abuse?
(c) D
 oes the review team consider whether incidents were motivated by racial dynamics
or any existing racial tensions at the facility?
(d) W
 hen incidents are determined to be motivated by racial dynamics or tensions, do
upper management officials immediately notify the agency head and begin taking
steps to rectify those underlying problems?
(e) D
 oes the review team prepare a report of its findings and recommendations for
improvement and submit it to the facility head?
Discussion
Sexual abuse incident reviews provide the facility with the opportunity to identify policies or
practices that may have contributed to or failed to prevent sexual abuse as well as any deficiencies in the facility’s response. By examining the facility’s prevention planning and response
efforts following the occurrence of sexual abuse, the facility can prevent future incidents by
making the necessary changes to policies or practices that endangered staff and residents in
the past.
Comprehensive sexual abuse incident reviews should include the following: (1) an analysis
of any security failures that may have contributed to the incident; (2) an examination of the
timeliness and quality of the response; (3) the various interventions provided to the victim
and/or perpetrator, including medical and mental health care,; and (4) the quality of the
administrative and/or criminal investigation. Additionally, the review team should determine

IV. Monitoring

53

whether victim(s) or witness(es) faced any obstacles to prompt and safe reporting of the incident. Finally, the team should review the files of the perpetrator(s) and victim(s) to determine
whether changes to the facility’s process for screening residents for risk of sexual victimization
or abusiveness may be appropriate. Having identified underlying problems, the facility can then
make the necessary changes to policies or practices that endanger staff and residents.

DC-2

Data collection
The agency collects accurate, uniform data for every reported incident of sexual abuse using a
standardized instrument and set of definitions. The agency aggregates the incident-based sexual
abuse data at least annually. The incident-based data collected includes, at a minimum, the data
necessary to answer all questions from the most recent version of the BJS Survey on Sexual Violence. See Appendix C for a list of recommended data elements. 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 residents.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) D
 oes the agency collect uniform data for every reported incident of sexual abuse using
a standardized instrument and set of definitions?
(b) Does the agency aggregate the incident-based sexual abuse data at least annually?
(c) D
 oes the agency collect the incident-based data necessary to answer all questions
from the most recent version of the BJS Survey on Sexual Violence?
(d) Does the agency obtain data from multiple sources, including reports, investigation
files, and sexual abuse incident reviews?
(e) D
 oes the agency also obtain incident-based and aggregated data from every facility
with which it contracts for the confinement of its residents?
Discussion
The agency is required to collect incident-based data on all incidents of sexual abuse to examine the specific circumstances of each incident and track any possible patterns.
The BJS Survey on Sexual Violence asks agencies to answer questions using their aggregated
data and their incident-based data collection policies. The data collection items listed in Appendix C include all the data that must be collected and aggregated to be able to answer the
BJS survey questions. The most recent version of the BJS survey can be accessed electronically
from the BJS Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/dcprea03.htm. Appendix C
also identifies additional information that the agency might want to consider incorporating into
its incident-based sexual abuse data collection instrument. Such elements may be of assistance
to the agency as it reviews, revises, and develops sexual abuse prevention and response policies and procedures. The agency may also decide to collect data not enumerated in Appendix
C. Some incident-specific information may not be available during the initial data collection
process but may become available over time. As more incident-specific information becomes
known and available, it should be added to the other data collected for that incident.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Aggregating collected incident-based data on an annual basis will provide the agency with data
descriptive of trends and patterns among reported incidents of sexual abuse that took place
within the agency and its individual facilities during the previous year.

DC-3

Data review for corrective action
The agency reviews, analyzes, and uses all sexual abuse data, including incident-based and aggregated data, to assess and improve the effectiveness of its sexual abuse prevention, detection, and
response policies, practices, and training. Using these data, the agency identifies problem areas, including any racial dynamics or other group 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 includes
a comparison of the current year’s data and corrective actions with those from prior years and
provides an assessment of the agency’s progress in addressing sexual abuse. The agency’s report
is approved by the agency head, submitted to the appropriate legislative body, and made readily
available to the public through its Web site or, if it does not have one, through other means. 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.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency review, analyze, and use all sexual abuse data, including incidentbased and aggregated data, to assess the effectiveness of its sexual abuse prevention,
detection, and response policies, practices, and training?
(b) Does the agency use the data to assess problem areas, including any racial dynamics
underpinning patterns of sexual abuse?
(c) D
 oes the agency take corrective action on an ongoing basis, based on the problem
areas indicated by the analysis of the data?
(d) D
 oes the agency prepare a report at least annually of its findings and corrective
actions for each facility as well as the agency as a whole?
(e) D
 oes the annual report include a comparison of the current year’s data and corrective
actions with those from prior years and provide an assessment of the agency’s progress
in addressing sexual abuse?
(f) Is the agency’s report approved by the agency head and submitted to the appropriate
legislative body?
(g) Is the agency’s report made readily available to the public through its Web site or, if it
does not have one, through other means?
Discussion
The process of reviewing and analyzing incident-based and aggregated data allows agencies
to detect patterns and trends that should be addressed as they review and revise their sexual
abuse policies, practices, and training. For instance, sorting or filtering data by the victim’s gender, race, security level, and type of incident may allow the agency to identify specific causation
of these events. This analysis may also reveal racial dynamics underpinning certain patterns
or trends of sexual abuse. Equipped with that knowledge, agency and facility heads can work
together to begin changing those dynamics by reviewing and modifying existing policies and
practices for keeping residents safe. Using the conclusions and results from the data analysis to
take this kind of corrective action will make all facilities safer.
IV. Monitoring

55

Comparing the current year’s aggregated data to previous years’ data will also yield valuable
information about progress, including validation of implemented preventive measures. For example, the agency may observe a decrease in the number of allegations in an area where additional security measures were implemented and monitoring was enhanced. The agency must
include incident-based and aggregated data from all facilities with which it contracts for the
confinement of its residents in its review and analysis as part of its overall efforts to monitor the
safety of residents in contracted facilities (PP-2).
This standard also requires that the agency’s annual report on its data analysis and corrective
actions be made readily available to the public. If the agency has a Web site, the report should
be published on it. Otherwise, the agency should make other arrangements, for example, providing paper copies upon request, to ensure that members of the public can easily and promptly
obtain the report. Members of the public should not have to identify themselves or provide a
reason for wanting to see the report as a precondition to obtaining it.

DC-4

Data storage, publication, and destruction
The agency ensures that the collected sexual abuse data are properly stored, securely retained,
and protected. The agency makes all aggregated sexual abuse data, from facilities under its direct control and those with which it contracts, readily available to the public at least annually
through its Web site or, if it does not have one, through other means. Before making aggregated
sexual abuse data publicly available, the agency removes all personal identifiers from the data. The
agency maintains sexual abuse data for at least 10 years after the date of its initial collection unless
Federal, State, or local law allows for the disposal of official information in less than 10 years.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Does the agency ensure that the collected sexual abuse data are properly stored,
retained, protected, and destroyed?
(b) Does the agency make all aggregated sexual abuse data, from facilities under its direct
control and those with which it contracts, readily available to the public at least annually
through its Web site or, if it does not have one, through other means?
(c) A
 re all personal identifiers removed from the aggregated data before it is made
publicly available?
(d) D
 oes the agency maintain sexual abuse data for at least 10 years after the date of its
initial collection unless Federal, State, or local law allows for the disposal of official
information in less than 10 years?
Discussion
The agency’s data collection efforts will be useful to track trends and contribute to a national
understanding of sexual abuse in juvenile facilities only if the agency stores the data in a manner that protects data integrity and retains the data for an adequate length of time. The requirement that data be securely retained and protected is meant to ensure the privacy of individuals
involved in sexual abuse incidents and the integrity of the data. It is important that collected
data be maintained in a way that protects the confidentiality of victims and alleged perpetrators. Thus, once data are aggregated, all unique identifiers pertaining to victims and alleged
perpetrators should be removed.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

The public has a legitimate interest in the data collected by agencies that serve the public. The
data agencies are required to collect and publish under these standards will enable the public to
understand the nature and level of safety in juvenile justice facilities. Agency sexual abuse data
may also inform research and efforts to improve safety. Aggregated data with personal identifiers removed should thus be readily available to the public. Publishing the data on the agency’s
Web site, if it has one, is the easiest way for the public to obtain them. Absent a Web site, an
agency may choose other feasible means to make the data public, such as providing paper copies to members of the public who request them. Members of the public should not have to identify themselves or provide a reason for seeking the data as a precondition to obtaining copies.
With regard to incident-based data, the Commission recommends that agencies balance privacy interests against the legitimate public interest in safe juvenile justice institutions by establishing a non-burdensome process to allow researchers, academics, journalists, and others
access to such data.

AU-1

Audits (AU)
Audits of standards
The public agency ensures that all of its facilities, including contract facilities, are audited to measure compliance with the PREA standards. Audits must be conducted at least every three years by
independent and qualified auditors. The public or contracted agency allows the auditor to enter
and tour facilities, review documents, and interview staff and residents, as deemed appropriate
by the auditor, to conduct comprehensive audits. The public agency ensures that the report of
the auditor’s findings and the public or contracted agency’s plan for corrective action (DC-3) are
published on the appropriate agency’s Web site if it has one or are otherwise made readily available
to the public.
Assessment Checklist

YES

NO

(a) Are comprehensive audits conducted at least every three years?
(b) Are auditors independent and qualified?
(c) A
 re independent auditors able to do the following, as deemed appropriate by the
auditor?
• Enter and tour facilities
• Review documents
• Interview staff and residents
(d) A
 re audit reports and corrective plans published on the appropriate agency’s Web site
if it has one or otherwise made readily available to the public?
Discussion
Publicly available audits allow agencies, legislative bodies, and the public to learn whether
facilities are complying with the PREA standards. Audits can also be a resource for the Attorney General in determining whether States are meeting their statutory responsibilities. Public
audits help focus an agency’s efforts and can serve as the basis upon which an agency can
IV. Monitoring

57

formulate a plan to correct any identified deficiencies. These corrective action plans should
be made public as well so that the public is fully informed as to whether the agency is taking
appropriate steps to prevent sexual abuse. If the agency has a Web site, the audit should be
published on it; otherwise, the agency may choose other feasible means to ensure the public
has ready and easy access to the audit, such as providing paper copies to members of the public
who request them. Members of the public should not have to identify themselves or specify a
reason for seeking the audit as a precondition to obtaining it.
The transparency achieved by public audits and corrective action plans can enhance community confidence in the steps agencies are taking to prevent sexual abuse in juvenile justice
facilities and can help generate public support for providing an agency with the resources it
needs to prevent abuse more effectively. Publicly available audits and corrective action plans
also help ensure that oversight bodies, including legislative bodies and community advocates,
have the data necessary to decide whether and how to take action to improve sexual abuse
prevention efforts.
For audits to serve these purposes effectively, they must be based on reliable and comprehensive information and be conducted by individuals or teams with the skills and objectivity
necessary to take the following actions: (1) identify and gather the data that must be analyzed,
(2) employ proper professional judgment when analyzing the data, and (3) work effectively
with jurisdictions in planning audits. The requirements of this standard are designed to ensure
that the audit process meets minimum audit standards while providing appropriate flexibility
to the subject facility or agency regarding the identity of the auditor. Under this standard,
an audit must be conducted by an individual or group of individuals who are independent of
the agency, with no current direct reporting relationship to the head of the corrections agency
being audited.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

APPENDIX A:
RESPONSIBILITIES OF FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAMINERS
The Commission directs all agency and facility heads to the U.S. Department of Justice’s
national protocol for extensive information on the appropriate qualifications and responsibilities of forensic medical examiners.1 However an agency decides to adapt the national protocol,
the Commission strongly recommends that the agency use the following description of responsibilities of the forensic medical examiner as a blueprint for the qualifications an agency should
be considering when developing memoranda of understanding or entering into contracts with
forensic medical examiners.

Forensic medical examiner responsibilities
1.	 Obtain forensic histories from victims.
2.	Use sexual assault evidence collection kits that are standardized and meet or exceed minimum
guidelines for contents.
3.	Use the proper and age-appropriate equipment and supplies to perform the exam (e.g., anoscope, colposcope with photographic capability, microscope, toluidine blue dye, in addition to
standard exam room equipment and supplies).
4.	Take initial and follow-up photographs of injuries, as appropriate, according to
jurisdictional policy.
5.	Maintain evidence integrity according to jurisdictional policies for drying, packaging, labeling,
and sealing the evidence.
6.	Maintain the chain of custody for all evidence collected.
7.	Follow jurisdictional protocol for transferring the evidence in the custody of an authorized agent
from the exam site to a crime laboratory or a secure storage area with the proper climate control.
8.	Document all services provided, including recommendations for continued care regarding sexually transmitted infection examinations, testing, immunizations, post-exposure prophylaxis,
and treatment.
9.	Transfer copies of the resident’s medical file back to the facility/agency, if the exam is
conducted off-site.

1

U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic
Examinations, Adults/Adolescents (NCJ 206554), Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, September 2004. This protocol is available electronically at http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ovw/206554.pdf.

Appendix A

59

APPENDIX B:
TRAINING TOPICS AND PROCEDURES
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has developed a number of Prison Rape Elimination
Act (PREA) training resources. The Commission directs all agency and facility heads to NIC’s Web
site (http://www.nicic.org) to learn more about existing resources and opportunities for training.
However an agency or facility decides to deliver training, the Commission strongly recommends
that the following topics be included for employee training. Some may also be appropriate for
volunteer and resident training.
Following the list of topics, the Commission has made some procedural recommendations for
ensuring that agency and facility heads deliver the most effective sexual abuse and PREA training
to employees, volunteers, contractors, and residents.

I. Recommended training topics
A. General education and awareness topics
1.	 An overview of PREA.
2.	A description of the inalienable right of all residents to be free from sexual abuse.
3.	The role of corrections officials to protect and enforce the human right to be free from
sexual abuse.
4.	Definitions and examples of prohibited and/or illegal behaviors and language that are
considered sexual abuse.
5.	Examples of conduct, circumstances, and “red flags” that may be precursors to sexual abuse or
which suggest sexual abuse is occurring
6.	 The agency’s anti-retaliation policy.
7.	Common reactions by victims of sexual abuse.
8.	The agency’s liability for sexual abuse of persons in custody (criminal, civil, and administrative).
9.	A discussion of how sexual abuse is used to gain power and control in confinement settings.
10.	The agency’s policy regarding residents who knowingly make false allegations of staff-onresident sexual abuse or staff-on-resident sexual harassment.
11.	Common myths and perceptions of sexual intimidation and abuse in confinement settings.
12.	Professional boundary setting, including issues related to personal associations with residents,
consent, and imbalances of power, and appropriate vs. inappropriate touching.
13.	Information on adolescent emotional, physical and sexual development.
14.	Strategies for promoting effective prevention and intervention of staff-on-resident sexual
abuse and staff-on-resident sexual harassment.
15.	Strategies for removing a victim or witness of sexual abuse from any public or semipublic area
without arousing the suspicion of other residents or staff members.
16.	Strategies for protecting the safety of vulnerable populations, including but not limited to
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and gender-nonconforming residents (including transgender and intersex); deaf, speech impaired, or visually impaired residents; developmentally disabled residents;
residents with limited English proficiency; mentally ill residents; residents with past histories of
sexual abuse; residents with personality disorders; and young residents.
Appendix B

61

B. Sexual abuse reporting duties
1.	 Staff members’ duty to report sexual abuse and their liability if they fail to report.
2.	 The process staff members should use to report sexual abuse.
3.	 The process that residents should use to report sexual abuse.
4.	Medical and mental health practitioners’ reporting duties and the process they should use to
report sexual abuse.
5.	Relevant State or local mandatory child abuse reporting laws and staff responsibility under
such laws to report sexual abuse to a designated State or local services agency with the authority to conduct investigations into abuse against children in confinement.
6.	Facility head’s duty to report such abuse to the juvenile court or victim’s judge of record, the
victim’s caseworker in the child welfare system, if applicable, and the victim’s parents or legal
guardians, absent official documentation showing they should not be notified.

C. Medical and mental health care
1.	The range of victims’ services available to residents, including free medical and mental health
care for injuries and/or trauma resulting from sexual abuse, and how residents gain access to
those services.
2.	 Rules governing forensic medical exams.
3.	 How to detect sexual abuse during medical and mental health exams.

D. Investigations and discipline
1.	The investigative process for allegations of sexual abuse, including the importance of preserving
evidence.
2.	The legal and disciplinary sanctions for residents who engage in resident-on-resident sexual
abuse or resident-on-resident sexual harassment.
3.	The legal and disciplinary sanctions for staff who engage in actual or attempted staff-onresident sexual abuse or staff-on-resident sexual harassment.
4.	 Victims’ rights based on relevant State or Federal law.
5.	The rights of a staff member who is the subject of an investigation based on relevant Federal or
State law or, if applicable, under collective bargaining agreements.

II. Recommended procedures for delivering training
A. General guidance
1.	 Train existing staff prior to training residents.
2.	 Train new staff members before they have contact with residents.
3.	Prohibit staff members from working with residents until they can demonstrate knowledge of
the agency’s sexual abuse policies and procedures.
4.	Ensure that staff members, contractors, and residents have access to copies of the agency’s
sexual abuse policies.

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Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

5.	Use multiple mechanisms for presenting the information, including lectures, dialogues,
role-play/scenario-based training, and other interactive techniques.
6.	Ensure training materials are up to date by reviewing them at least annually and making
revisions, if necessary, to address changes in laws, policies, or protocols.
7.	Provide refresher training to staff members, contractors, and residents following any changes
to law or policy.
8.	Provide annual continuing education on sexual abuse that includes a review of the agency’s
sexual abuse data from the previous year.

B. Testing and evaluation
1.	 Test staff members following training.
2.	Ask staff, contractors, and residents to provide feedback on training, including suggestions for
improving training tools and materials.
3.	Evaluate staff members who conduct training at least annually to ensure that they are qualified
and able to provide training effectively.

Appendix B

63

APPENDIX C:
INCIDENT-BASED DATA COLLECTION
Standard DC-2 requires agencies to collect incident-based data for every incident of sexual abuse.
Under this standard, the agency is required to collect data sufficient to answer all of the questions
from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS’) Survey on Sexual Violence. Collecting data on the following items would allow the agency to answer the questions posed on the BJS survey and should
help it to reach the broader goal of eliminating sexual abuse and keeping residents safe.

I. Victim information
1.	 Sex and gender identity.
2.	 Race/ethnicity.
3.	 Age.
4.	 Security level.
5.	 Height and weight.
6.	 Classification assignment, when applicable.
7.	 Previous sexual victimization.
8.	 Previous sexually abusive behavior.
9.	 Prior relationship with the alleged perpetrator.
10.	Gang affiliation outside and/or inside the facility.
11.	HIV/AIDS status.

II. Perpetrator information
A. Resident perpetrator
1.	 Sex and gender identity.
2.	 Race/ethnicity.
3.	 Age.
4.	 Security level.
5.	 Height and weight.
6.	 Classification assignment, when applicable.
7.	 Previous sexual victimization.
8.	 Previous sexually abusive behavior.
9.	 Prior relationship with the victim.
10.	Gang affiliation outside and/or inside the facility.
11.	HIV/AIDS status.

B. Staff perpetrator
1.	
2.	
3.	
4.	

Sex and gender identity.
Race/ethnicity.
Age.
Position held within the agency.
Appendix C

65

5.	 Relationship with victim.
6.	Prior history of allegations and/or substantiated incidents of sexual abuse or harassment in
current and prior employment.
7.	 Prior history of failure to comply with the agency’s sexual abuse policies.

III. Other incident information
A. Reporting
1.	 The date and time of the report.
2.	 The date, time, and location of the incident.
3.	 The reporting mechanism used.
4.	 Who made the report.
5.	 To whom the report was made.
6.	 Details of the incident alleged to have occurred.
7.	 The time lapse between when the incident took place and when the report was made.
8.	 The time lapse between when the report was made and when an investigation was initiated.
9.	The time lapse between when the report was made and when the resident received medical/
mental health care, if applicable.

B. Medical and/or mental health care
1.	 Whether the victim received medical and/or mental health care.
2.	 Any injuries sustained by the victim.

C. Investigations
1.	Type of investigation pursued: criminal and/or administrative and/or child abuse investigation
by State or local services agency.
2.	 Name of investigator(s).
3.	 Dates of the initiation and conclusion of the investigation(s).
4.	 Outcome of the investigation(s)/if the investigation(s) is ongoing.
5.	 Violations of administrative and/or criminal codes.
6.	If the case is referred for prosecution, whether the prosecutor accepted or declined the
investigation and, if accepted, the case disposition.
7.	If administrative actions against staff member(s) or resident(s) are pursued, details about
the sanctions.

66

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

APPENDIX D:
NPREC STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT EXPERT
COMMITTEE MEMBERS
During the standards development process, the Commission convened expert committees
comprised of diverse stakeholders with broad correctional expertise to provide information
and guidance. The Commission thanks the members of the expert committees for their participation and contribution.
Organizational affiliations are provided for identification purposes only; committee members
were not necessarily acting as representatives of their organizations. This list reflects each committee member’s organizational affiliation at the time of participation and may not represent
that person’s current position. The Commission’s standards do not reflect the official views of
any of the organizations referenced here.
Carrie Abner, Research Associate, American Probation and Parole Association
Aaron Aldrich, Chief Inspector, Rhode Island Department of Corrections
James Austin, President, JFA Institute
Roy F. Austin, Jr., Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Chris Baker, Lieutenant, Corrections Supervisor/Jail Administrator, Van Buren County
Sheriff’s Office, Michigan
David Balagia, Major, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Texas
Joe Baumann, Corrections Officer, California Rehabilitation Center Chapter President,
California Correctional Peace Officers Association
Jeffrey Beard, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Theodis Beck, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Correction
Art Beeler, Warden, Federal Correctional Complex, Federal Bureau of Prisons,
U.S. Department of Justice
Andrea Black, Coordinator, Detention Watch Network
Charma Blount, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Tim Brennan, Principal, Northpointe Institute for Public Management, Inc.
Lorie Brisbin, Program Coordinator, Prisons Division, Idaho Department of Correction
Barbara Broderick, Director, Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, Arizona
Roger Canaff, Deputy Chief, Sex Offender Management Unit, Office of the Attorney
General, New York
Susan Paige Chasson, President, International Association of Forensic Nurses
Gwendolyn Chunn, Immediate Past President, American Correctional Association
Suanne Cunningham, National Director, Corrections/Criminal Justice Program,
Heery International
Appendix D

67

Karen Dalton, Director, Correctional Services Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Kim Day, SAFE Technical Assistance Coordinator, International Association of Forensic Nurses
Gina DeBottis, Executive Director, Special Prosecution Unit, Texas Youth Commission
Kathleen Dennehy, Superintendent, Security Operations, Bristol County Sheriff’s Office,
Massachusetts
Gary Dennis, Senior Associate, The Moss Group, Inc.
Ruth Divelbiss, Captain, Ford County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas
Mark Donatelli, Partner, Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dahlstrom, Schoenburg, and Bienvenu LLP
Sarah Draper, Director of Investigations, Office of Investigation and Compliance, Internal
Investigation Unit, Georgia Department of Corrections
Dr. Richard Dudley, Private Practice of Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry	
Robert Dumond, President and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Consultants for
Improved Human Services, PLLC
Earl Dunlap, Chief Executive Officer, National Partnership for Juvenile Services
Maureen Dunn, Director, Unaccompanied Children’s Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement,
Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Teena Farmon, Retired Warden, Central California Women’s Facility
Lisa Freeman, Staff Attorney, Prisoners’ Rights Project, Legal Aid Society, New York City
Vanessa Garza, Associate Director for Trafficking Policy, Office of Refugee Resettlement,
Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Michael Gennaco, Chief Attorney, Office of Independent Review, Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department
Karen Giannakoulias, Forensic Interviewer/Victim Advocate, U.S. Attorney’s Office,
Washington, D.C.
Steve Gibson, Administrator, Youth Services Division, Montana Department of Corrections
Simon Gonsoulin, Former Director, Louisiana Office of Youth Development
Kathleen Graves, Director, Community Corrections Services, Kansas Department of Corrections
Robert L. Green, Warden, Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Montgomery County
Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Maryland
Dr. Robert Greifinger, Correctional Health Care and Quality Management Consultant
David Guntharp, Director, Arkansas Department of Community Correction
Karyn Hadfield, Training Specialist, Day One: The Sexual Assault and Trauma Resource Center
Dee Halley, PREA Program Manager, National Institute of Corrections, Federal Bureau
of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Greg Hamilton, Sheriff, Travis County, Texas
Patrick M. Hanlon, Partner, Goodwin Proctor LLP
Patricia Hardyman, Senior Associate, Association of State Correctional Administrators
Rachel Harmon, Associate Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
68

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Michael Hennessey, Sheriff, City and County of San Francisco, California
Andrew Jordan, Consultant, Migima, LLC; Retired Chief of Police, Bend Police Department, Oregon
Thomas Kane, Assistant Director, Information, Policy and Public Affairs Division, Federal
Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Cliff Keenan, Assistant Director, District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency
Jacqueline Kotkin, Field Services Executive, Probation and Parole, Vermont Department
of Corrections
Deborah LaBelle, Attorney
Madie LaMarre, Consultant
Neal Langan, Senior Research Analyst, Office of Research and Evaluation, Federal Bureau
of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Dori Lewis, Senior Supervising Attorney, Prisoners’ Rights Project, Legal Aid Society,
New York City
Cheryl Little, Executive Director, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, Inc.
Jennifer Long, Director, National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women
Christy Lopez, Partner, Independent Assessment and Monitoring, LLP
Margaret Love, Attorney; Consulting Director, American Bar Association Commission on
Effective Criminal Sanctions
Bobbi Luna, Captain, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon
Martha Lyman, Director of Research, Hampden County Correctional Center, Massachusetts
Bob Maccarone, Director, New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Cindy Malm, Consultant, Retired Jail Administrator, Rocky Mountain Corrections
Michael Marette, Assistant Director of Corrections, American Federation of State, County,
and Municipal Employees
Jenifer Markowitz, Forensic Nurse Consultant, DOVE Program, Summa Health System
Steve Martin, Attorney/Corrections Consultant
Susan McCampbell, President, Center for Innovative Public Policies, Inc., McCampbell &
Associates, Inc.
Ron McCuan, Captain, U.S. Public Health Service; Public Health Analyst, National Institute
of Corrections, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Linda McFarlane, Mental Health Program Director, Just Detention International
Jeff McInnis, PREA Coordinator, District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
John Milian, Detention and Deportation Officer, Criminal Alien Program, Office of Detention
and Removal, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Phyllis Modley, Correctional Program Specialist, Community Corrections Division, National
Institute of Corrections, Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Jean Moltz, Correctional Health Care Consultant
James Montross, Director of Mental Health Monitoring, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Appendix D

69

Marcia Morgan, Consultant, Migima, LLC
John Moriarty, Inspector General, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Anadora Moss, President, The Moss Group, Inc.
Gail D. Mumford, Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Melissa Nolan, Executive Assistant, Policy and Public Affairs Division, Federal Bureau of
Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice
Christopher Nugent, Senior Counsel, Community Services Team, Holland & Knight LLP
Barbara Owen, Professor of Criminology, California State University, Fresno
David Parrish, Colonel, Commander, Department of Detention Services, Hillsborough
County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
T.J. Parsell, Human Rights Activist, Author of Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison
Dr. Farah M. Parvez, Director, Office of Correctional Public Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and
TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Susan Poole, Criminal Justice Consultant; Retired Warden, California Institution for Women
Roberto Hugh Potter, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Eugenie Powers, Director, Probation and Parole, Louisiana Department of Public Safety
and Corrections
Judy Preston, Deputy Chief, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
J. Michael Quinlan, Senior Vice President, Corrections Corporation of America
Jeffrey Renzi, Associate Director, Planning and Research, Rhode Island Department of Corrections
Denise Robinson, President and CEO, Alvis House; Past-President, International Community
Corrections Association
Melissa Rothstein, East Coast Program Director, Just Detention International
David Roush, Director, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, Center for Research and
Professional Development, National Juvenile Detention Association
Elissa Rumsey, Compliance Monitoring Coordinator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
Timothy Ryan, Director, Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department
Teresa Scalzo, Senior Policy Advisor, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, U.S.
Department of Defense
Vincent Schiraldi, Director, District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
Margo Schlanger, Professor of Law, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
Karen Schneider, Legal Consultant
Dana Shoenberg, Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
Linda Smith, Research Consultant
Donald Specter, Director, Prison Law Office
70

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

Mai-Linh Spencer, Deputy State Public Defender, Office of the State Public Defender, California
Richard Stalder, Former Secretary, Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections
Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director, Just Detention International
Lara Stemple, Former Director, Just Detention International; Director, Graduate Studies,
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
Tom Stickrath, Director, Ohio Department of Youth Services
Victor Stone, Special Counsel, Office of Enforcement Operations, Criminal Division, U.S.
Department of Justice
Robert Sudlow, Chief Probation Officer, Ulster County Probation Department, New York
Anjali Swienton, Director of Outreach, National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology, and
the Law, Stetson University College of Law; President and CEO, SciLaw Forensics Ltd.
Robin Toone, Attorney, Foley Hoag LLP
Cynthia Totten, Program Director, Just Detention International
Ashbel T. Wall, II, Director, Rhode Island Department of Corrections
Kelly Ward, Former Warden, David Wade Correctional Center, Louisiana Department of
Public Safety and Corrections
Richard White, Deputy Commissioner of Operations, City of New York Department of Correction
Anne Wideman, Clinical Psychologist
Reginald Wilkinson, Executive Director, Ohio Business Alliance for Higher Education and
the Economy; Former Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Margaret Winter, Associate Director, National Prison Project, American Civil Liberties Union
Jason Ziedenberg, Consultant; Former Director, Justice Policy Institute

Appendix D

71

APPENDIX E:
STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION NEEDS ASSESSMENT
During the public comment period, the Commission conducted a Standards Implementation
Needs Assessment (SINA). The Commission created the SINA process to provide feedback on
the draft standards through a series of “case studies” at particular facilities. More than 40 facilities from around the country applied to participate in the SINA process. The Commission selected 11 sites that reflected ranges in capacity, populations, and geographic settings and that
included jails and prisons; facilities for men, women, and juveniles; and community corrections
facilities. Each site visit took place over one and a half days and included a facility tour and
five structured interviews: one with the Warden or Superintendent, and the others with small
groups of staff to discuss general issues, training, medical/mental health, and investigations.
These group interviews involved a variety of staff with experience relevant to the particular
topic. When possible, we also spoke with inmates detained in the facilities.
Pilot Site
Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Montgomery County Department of Correction and
Rehabilitation, Boyds, MD
April 22–23, 2008
Jails
Suffolk County House of Correction, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Boston, MA
May 22–23, 2008
Washington County Jail, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro, OR
June 5–6, 2008
Juvenile Facilities
Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility, Ohio Department of Youth Services,
Highland Hills, OH
July 9–10, 2008
Lynn W. Ross Juvenile Center, Tarrant County Juvenile Probation Department, Tarrant County
Juvenile Services, Fort Worth, TX
June 24–25, 2008
Prisons for Men
James Allred Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Iowa Park, TX
June 22–23, 2008
Northern Correctional Facility, West Virginia Division of Corrections, Moundsville, WV
July 7–8, 2008

Appendix E

73

Prisons for Women
New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility, New Mexico Corrections Department, Grants, NM
June 26–27, 2008
Valley State Prison for Women, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,
Chowchilla, CA
June 3–4, 2008
Community Corrections Facilities
Southwestern Ohio Serenity (SOS) Hall, Hamilton, OH
August 1, 2008
Talbert House, Cincinnati, OH
July 30–31, 2008

74

Standards for the Prevention, Detection, Response, and Monitoring of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

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