The PRC frequently receives questions about the PREA standards’ audit requirements; topics include how agencies should prepare for the audit, progress on development of the audit, how auditors will be identified and trained, and audit logistics. We offer this update to answer some of those questions.
The PRC is working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop tools for auditors. This work is being done with assistance from the PRC audit workgroup, comprised of representatives from Abt Associates, Inc.; the American Correctional Association; and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare. Workgroup tasks include the development of compliance measures for each standard, instructions and protocol for PREA auditors, and an audit results reporting guide for auditors. A draft of the audit tools for the Adult Prison and Jail Standards will be completed by the end of November and beta tested in two Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities in December 2012. The beta test will be conducted by American Correctional Association (ACA) auditors who have experience auditing BOP facilities and observed by members of the audit workgroup from the PRC and individuals from DOJ.
Following the beta test, the PRC will work with audit workgroup members to revise the audit tools in order to have a final version approved by DOJ in February 2013. This schedule is subject to any unforeseen challenges that arise from the beta test or the revision process; however, the goal is for completion of the final audit tools for the Adult Prison and Jail standards by February 2013. Once the tools for the Adult Prison and Jail Standards are drafted in November, draft tools for the Juvenile, Lockup, and Community Corrections standards will be drafted as well.
After the final audit tools are approved, the PRC audit workgroup will engage in developing a 40-hour training program for auditors. The first training is tentatively scheduled to take place over one week in late June 2013. The PRC will train roughly 45 auditors by invitation only at this first training, and these auditors will be certified by DOJ following results from the training. The expectation is that they will be available to start audits once the first audit cycle begins on August 20, 2013.
The training may need some revision after its first run in June. Subsequent training schedules are not yet set, but future trainings will be made available and auditor applications will be open to anyone who is qualified. It is likely that the application process for future trainings will open in late spring of 2013, but no dates have been set. More information on auditor qualifications, the application process, and subsequent trainings will come from the DOJ and the PRC as soon as it is available.
The PRC will provide the finalized audit tools, once they are available, to appropriate personnel so agencies can get a sense of what the audit will require and can prepare for audits. The PRC plans to conduct four regional trainings across the nation in May 2013 to provide information to corrections agencies on the audit and audit preparation.