On September 4, 2003, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The goal of the Prison Rape Elimination Act is to eradicate prisoner rape in all types of correctional facilities in this country.
The 2nd 25th Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department (C.S.C.D.) and Intermediate Sanction Facility (I.S.F.) are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for residents, staff, visitors, contractors and volunteers. The 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D. and I.S.F. are committed to protecting residents from sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse and sexual harassment compromises the safety of everyone in our facility and will not be tolerated. This policy provides the 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D. and I.S.F. with a mechanism for complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the PREA National Standards.
The 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D. and I.S.F. have mandated zero-tolerance towards all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Such conduct is prohibited by this policy and will not be tolerated; to include resident-on-resident sexual abuse or harassment and employee-on-resident sexual abuse or harassment. When it is learned that a resident is subject to a substantial risk of imminent sexual abuse, immediate action shall be taken to protect the resident. The 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D. and I.S.F.'s policy is to aggressively investigate all allegations, regardless of the source and prosecute those who are involved in incidents of sexual abuse. Alleged victims of sexual abuse or harassment will be provided a supportive and protective environment (115.211(a), 115.262). Sexual activity between residents or employees, volunteers, contractors and residents, regardless of consensual status, is strictly prohibited and subject to administrative and criminal disciplinary sanctions.
WAYS TO REPORT
1. Submitting a "Request Form" to the PREA Coordinator, PREA Investigator(s), the Facility Director or Director of Operations.
a. Verbally telling any employee, volunteer, contractor or vendor.
b. Having a family member (or a trusted 3rd party) call the facility to make a report.
c. Call the 1-800 number on the PREA posters located throughout the facility or listed in the resident handbook to a public
entity responsible for taking reports.
2. PREA incidents may be processed through the facility's resident grievance process. Any method of reporting a PREA
incident is considered an official report. Should a report be submitted and received as a resident grievance, it will immediately
be referred to the Facility Investigator or Facility Director.
3. All employees are required to immediately report:
a. Any knowledge, suspicion, or information regarding an incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurred in the
facility or off facility grounds in accordance with this policy.
b. Retaliation against residents or employees who have reported such an incident; and
c. Any employee neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident or retaliation. (115.261 (a))
4. Employees may privately report sexual abuse and sexual harassment of residents by forwarding a letter, sealed and marked
"Confidential", to the Facility Director. (115.251 (d)) Employees can also make an anonymous report to the Gonzales County
Sheriff's Office at 1-830-672-6524.
5. If the alleged victim is considered a vulnerable adult under a state or local vulnerable person's statute, the allegation shall be
reported to the designated state or local services agency under applicable mandatory reporting laws. (115.61(d)) At this
facility, the designated state and/or local reporting agency is: Gonzales County Sheriff's Office at 1-830-672-6524.
6. Anonymous Reporting. Each facility shall provide at least one way for residents to report abuse or harassment to a public
or private entity or office that is not a part of the 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D and I.S.F., and that is able to receive and
immediately forward resident reports of sexual abuse and sexual harassment to facility officials, allowing the resident to remain anonymous upon request. At this facility, the following anonymous reporting mechanism and process has been
established: Gonzales County Sheriff's Office at 1-830-672-6524.
7. Third Party Reporting. The facility has established a method to receive third-party reports of sexual abuse and sexual
harassment through the posting of this information on the facility PREA link at www.gonzalesisf.com. (115.254) An individual
may use any of the WAYS TO REPORT listed above.
RIGHT TO SERVICES
SERVICES A VICTIM MAY RECEIVE
1. 2nd 25th Judicial District C.S.C.D. and I.S.F. shall maintain or attempt to enter into Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)
or other agreements with community service providers that are able to provide residents with confidential medical and/or
emotional support services related to sexual abuse. (115.253 (c)) This will include medical and/or mental health services as
required at no cost to the victim of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment.
2. Residents shall be provided access to outside victim advocates for emotional support services related to sexual abuse
by giving residents mailing addresses and telephone numbers, including toll-free hotline numbers where available, of local,
state, or national victim advocacy or rape crisis organizations. Such information shall be included in the facility's Resident
Handbook. The Facility shall enable reasonable communication between residents and these organizations and agencies,
in as confidential a manner as possible. (115.253 (a))
3. Residents shall be informed, prior to giving the access, the extent to which such communications shall be monitored and the
extent to which reports of abuse will be forwarded to authorities in accordance with mandatory reporting laws. (115.253 (b))
4. As requested by the victim, either the victim advocate, a qualified community-based organization staff member, or a qualified
facility staff person shall accompany and support the victim through the forensic medical examination process and
investigatory interviews and shall provide emotional support, crisis intervention, information and referrals (115.221 (e)) at no
cost to the victim.
RESPONSE AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES
1. Any employee, volunteer or contractor who discovers or learns of sexual abuse/harassment or an allegation
sexual abuse/harassment, shall report the incident, then ensure that all steps are taken in order to assure an accurate investigation. The response team will ensure any crime scene is preserved. If the abuse or harassment occurred in another facility action will be taken to determine if the allegation was reported and investigated to determine the eventual outcome. If an allegation is received from another facility, the Facility Director will ensure that the allegation is investigated.
2. There will be a coordinated response process with local law enforcement if the allegation is proved true. They will ensure that an investigation is initiated and documented. Investigations into allegations of sexual abuse must be investigated by an employee who has received training in the investigation of sexual abuse cases. If the allegation is found to be rue it will be turned over to law enforcement for further investigation. The investigating entity shall follow a uniform evidence protocol that maximizes the potential for obtaining usable physical evidence for administrative proceedings and criminal prosecutions.
3. A preliminary review of the incident and the facility's response shall be conducted forty-eight (48) to seventy-two (72) hours following a reportable PREA incident. The review will be convened by the Facility Director, PREA Coordinator, Director of Operations and PREA Investigators.