Please note that Standards referenced throughout this FAQ often apply to multiple sets of PREA Standards. Along with different standard numbers, the different sets of standards use different terminology to refer to the population they house including “inmate,” “detainee,” and “resident.” When referencing a standard that applies equally to all facilities covered under PREA, the language in the question and answer will, unless specified, refer to the Adult Prisons & Jails standard numbers and use the term “inmate” to refer generally to the populations in those facilities. The FAQ search functionality uses the standard numbering from the Adult Prisons and Jails, regardless of the specific setting. When a standard is selected, the search will identify all FAQs related to that standard across all standard settings.

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Nov 18, 2015

What are the agency’s reporting obligations under standard 115.361(e) in cases where a juvenile is an emancipated youth?


Agencies should follow their local and/or state laws related to emancipated youths when determining to whom notifications of allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment must be made in instances where alleged victims are such youths. For example, if a guardian ad litem has been appointed to represent an emancipated youth and that individual is still active in that youth’s case when an allegation of sexual abuse or sexual harassment is made, it may be necessary for a report to be made to the guardian ad litem.

Standard: 115.61
Categories: Compliance, Definitions
Sep 28, 2015

Are clergy employed by, or who volunteer in, a correctional facility bound by the mandatory staff reporting provision in standard 115.61(a)?  Is there any protection for confidential communication with clergy, and is there any special consideration for confidentiality within confessional communication?


In general, staff clergy in confinement facilities are required to report “immediately and according to agency policy any knowledge, suspicion, or information regarding an incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurred in a facility, whether or not it is part of the agency; retaliation against inmates or staff who reported such an incident; and any staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident or retaliation.” See 28 C.F.R. § 115.61(a).

However, state and local law, and certain religious doctrine include specific requirements for making mandatory and discretionary reports of abuse and, by contrast, requiring that certain inmate-clergy communication remain confidential. Accordingly, certain religious communications between inmates and clergy (e.g., confessionals) may be exempted from the reporting requirements under this standard if the staff clergy is prohibited by law or doctrine from making such a report.

If, by contrast, clergy are not prohibited by law or doctrine to report such information to the facility, then the clergy is required to report under this standard. In such case, clergy should inform a counseled inmate of the clergy’s duty to report, and the limitations of confidentiality, at the initiation of services.

Additionally, agencies implementing the PREA staff reporting requirements under standard 115.61 should do so in a manner consistent with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and other appropriate authorities.

Standard: 115.61
Categories: Compliance, Definitions, Information Sharing