PREA Standards in Focus is a new feature designed to provide a quick synopsis of a PREA standard, the intent and purpose, implementation tips, challenges, and a few audit issues related to the standard to assist in further awareness and education. FAQs and resources are directly linked to provide ease of access and bundle in one place.
The PRC is pleased to release a new publication entitled “Model Policy: Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Intersex (TGNCI) Youth in Confinement Facilities.” The PREA standards explicitly protect TGNCI youth due to their extreme vulnerability to sexual assault and mistreatment. The relevant standards govern a range of practices, including risk assessment, housing and classification, searches, and privacy. This new publication offers practical policies that operationalize the standards and provide clear guidance to facility staff about promoting the safety and well-being of TGNCI residents.
The model policy was funded by PRC through a mini-grant to the National Center for Lesbian Rights in collaboration with the Center for Children's Law and Policy with a diverse group of justice stakeholders.
The PREA Management Office (PMO) within the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), has developed a PREA Auditor Handbook to articulate the requirements of DOJ PREA auditor certification, establish standards of ethical auditor conduct, detail a rigorous, practice-based audit methodology, hold auditors accountable for high standards of audit quality and integrity, and provide transparency to key stakeholders regarding the PREA audit process and expectations of auditors.
The PREA Auditor Handbook covers the following core topics:
- Auditing contracts and compensation
- Code of conduct governing auditors
- Conflicts of interest
- Process for becoming a DOJ-certified PREA auditor
- Requirements for maintaining DOJ PREA auditor certification
- Auditor’s role and the PREA audit process
- The PMO’s oversight of the PREA audit function
- Maintaining, losing, or giving up certification
- Auditor resources
In addition to the topics listed above, the PREA Auditor Handbook includes the Auditor Certification Agreement, which outlines the requirements of auditor conduct and the principles to which auditors must adhere. All PREA auditors are required to read and sign the Auditor Certification Agreement in order to obtain (or maintain) DOJ PREA auditor certification.
Although this resource was developed primarily for auditors to guide and direct their role in the PREA audit process, the PREA Auditor Handbook includes important information for agencies and facilities preparing for and undergoing a PREA audit. Facilities and agencies are strongly encouraged to review the PREA Auditor Handbook to know what to expect from audits and from the auditors with whom they contract.
The PREA Auditor Handbook will be an evolving document as the PMO identifies edits and improvements. Auditors and the field will be notified of all revisions, which will be released periodically as subsequent versions of the PREA Auditor Handbook become available.
PRC, along with its partner, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, has released a five-part video series on trauma-informed care and PREA. This engaging series introduces staff to the concept of trauma generally and, more specifically, its impact on individuals in confinement. The series also highlights a jurisdiction that has embraced a trauma-informed approach in its correctional management practices, with far-reaching impact beyond PREA implementation. See below for links to each video in the series and for a resource guide to accompany the video series.
PRC, along with its partner, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, has released an instructional video and resource guide for external investigators on how to investigate sexual assault and sex-related crimes in confinement settings. The video explores the similarities and differences between investigating such crimes in the community and in confinement, utilizing terminology that is familiar to external investigators (i.e., sexual assault). The goal of the video is to raise awareness of external investigators to the dynamics of sexual abuse in confinement, while the resource guide provides additional resources.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYDOCCS), with funds from they FY2011 PREA Zero-Tolerance demonstration site grants, worked with The Moss Group, Inc. to develop two Inmate Education & Orientation films for NYDOCCS inmates along with Facilitator Guides. While reviewing these resources, please keep in mind that much of the information is specific to NYDOCCS agency operations and may not be applicable to other agencies. See below for links to the videos.
The purpose of this film, Ending Sexual Abuse Behind the Walls: An Orientation, is to increase sexual safety for inmates.The approach to this work included a focus group process, with inmate groups as well as staff groups. The films are “by inmates, for inmates” in their own words. Staff highlighted in the film provide information stressing a zero tolerance policy; reporting mechanisms; and services available to inmates.
The Ending Sexual Abuse Behind the Walls: An Orientation film, in concert with this guide, provides staff with a useful resource and a forum to answer inmates’ questions around sexual abuse and sexual harassment, and fosters a culture that is conducive to sexual safety.
To assist facilities with the development and implementation of PREA compliant staffing plans, The Moss Group, Inc., under subcontract with the National PREA Resource Center, has developed this Staffing Plan White Paper. This paper identifies and explains the applicable PREA Standards and requirements, along with other influencing factors that impact a facility’s development, documentation and implementation of a PREA-compliant facility staffing plan.
PRC, along with its partner, The Moss Group, Inc., has released an instructional video and facilitator’s guide on conducting professional and respectful cross-gender pat searches and pat searches of transgender inmates. The Moss Group, Inc., and PRC produced this resource in an effort to support agency compliance with the PREA standards. However, the standards do not require the usage of any specific vendor or curricula, including those produced by the PRC. Agencies evaluating training products should complete an independent evaluation of whether or not the training product will meet training requirements as specified by the PREA standards. See below for links to these resources.