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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Facility-to-facility notifications of an allegation of abuse that occurred at an inmate’s prior facility pursuant to Standard 115.63(a) must be made to “the head of the facility or appropriate office of the agency where the alleged abuse occurred.” What constitutes “an appropriate office at the agency?”
Standard 115.63(a) does not define what an “appropriate office” would be in this context. The intent of the standard is to urge facility heads to send the notification to an individual or office that will ensure the prior facility takes immediate steps to investigate the allegation appropriately and promptly. While the Department declines to provide an exhaustive list of individuals and offices that may be appropriate recipients of the allegation, notifications made to the facility head, the facility’s PREA Compliance Manager, the agency’s PREA Coordinator, and the Office of the Agency Head would be presumptively valid recipients.
For more information about Standard 115.63(a) and who must make the notification of an incident of sexual abuse that took place at a prior facility, please click here.
Does Standard 115.63(a) require that notification of an incident of sexual abuse that took place at a prior facility be made directly from the head of the facility receiving the allegation, or can some other designated person make the notification?
The notification must, at a minimum, be: (1) Made at the direction of the facility head, and (2) Appear to a third party to have originated with the facility head. For example, the facility head could instruct his or her administrative assistant to send the notification on the facility head’s letterhead and with the facility head’s signature, or to send the notification from the facility head’s email address. By contrast, the facility’s PREA Compliance Manager could not send the notification from his or her email address and merely copy the facility head.
The intent of the standard is to ensure that the person receiving the report of sexual abuse at the prior facility understands the seriousness and gravity of the allegation, and that the communication originated at the highest level of the reporting facility. For more information about Standard 115.63(a) and who should receive the report of sexual abuse at the prior facility, please click here.