Prison Rape Elimination Act

OC Probation "ZERO" tolerance policy against sexual misconduct within juvenile facilities:

The Orange County Probation Department has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.  Residents of probation facilities, individuals under probation supervision, probation staff, volunteers and collaborative partners have a right to an environment that is free from sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The department will fully investigate and immediately address all allegations of sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment to include criminal and administrative sanctions as appropriate.   Probation staff are required to immediately report any instance of suspected or observed sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual harassment verbally to a supervisor or administrator then to document the matter in writing within 24-hours.   Probation staff are required to immediately intervene when they suspect or observe sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual harassment.
 
No probation staff member, individual subject to probation supervision, facility resident, volunteer, or collaborative partner will be subject to retaliation for acting in good faith to intervene in, report or document any incident of sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) is the first United States federal law passed dealing with the sexual assault of prisoners.  The bill was signed into law on September 4, 2003.  PREA covers all adult as well as juvenile detention facilities.  The Act supports the elimination, reduction and prevention of sexual assault and rape within corrections systems; mandates national data collection efforts; provides funding for program development and research; creates a national commission to develop standards and accountability measures; applies to all federal, state and local prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities and community settings such as residential facilities.

PREA defines "prison" quite broadly.  Within the context of PREA, prison is defined as "any federal, state, or local confinement facility, including local jails, police lockups, juvenile facilities, and state and federal prisons."  Thus short-term lockups, such as holding facilities and local jails regardless of size are also subject to the provisions of PREA.

Annual Report of Sexual Abuse in Orange County Probation Facilities:

PREA standards require that each agency and facility report aggregated numbers of incidents of sexually abusive behavior occurring within the facilities during the previous year.

Incidents of Sexually Abusive Behavior Reported Substantiated Unsubstantiated Unfounded Investigation Ongoing Reported Substantiated Unsubstantiated Unfounded Investigation Ongoing
2012 2013
Youth to youth, abusive sexual contact 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Youth to youth sexual harassment 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Staff sexual misconduct 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Staff sexual harassment of a youth 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Incidents Reported by Facility
Juvenile Hall 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Joplin Youth Center 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Youth Guidance Center 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Youth Leadership Academy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Definitions:

Substantiated: An allegation that was investigated and determined to have occurred.

Unfounded: An allegation that was investigated and the investigation determined not to have occurred.

Unsubstantiated: An allegation that was investigated and the investigation produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to whether or not the event occurred.

Sexual Abuse: Contact by a youth with another youth or by a staff member with a youth involving the mouth, penis, vulva or the anus, including penetration, however slight. Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument; and any other intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks of another person, excluding contact incidental to a physical altercation. Any display by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer of his or her uncovered genitalia, buttocks, or breast in the presence of a youth,

Sexual Harassment includes: Repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one youth directed toward another; or, to a youth by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer, including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene language or gestures.

I. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law, Public Law 108-79, signed into law in September 2003.  PREA establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual assaults and rapes of incarcerated persons of any age.  This makes the prevention of sexual assault in probation department juvenile facilities a top priority.

PREA sets a standard that protects the Eighth Amendment right (constitutional right prohibiting cruel or unusual punishment) of federal, state, and local youth offenders.

It also increases collection of nationwide data on sexual misconduct and sexual assaults on confined persons.  It increases accountability for administrators who fail to prevent, reduce, and punish sexual misconduct and sexual assaults.

To whom does PREA apply?

PREA applies to all public and private institutions that house juvenile and/or adult offenders, male or female.

How does PREA impact Orange County Probation Department Juvenile correctional facilities?

PREA sets a standard that protects the Eighth Amendment right (constitutional right prohibiting cruel or unusual punishment) of youthful offenders. It requires the collection and posting of data on sexual misconduct and sexual assaults on confined persons.  It increases accountability for administrators who fail to prevent, reduce, and punish sexual misconduct and sexual assaults.

PREA addresses the detection, elimination and prevention of sexual assault in juvenile facilities throughout California. PREA creates a set of national standards for compliance and accountability.  PREA directs the collection and dissemination of information on the incidence of youth-on-youth sexual violence as well as staff sexual misconduct with youth in OC Probation custody. For PREA purposes, the term "prison" applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police lock-ups, temporary holding cells, private facilities, and community settings such as residential facilities.  The term "inmate" applies to any person of any age held in a custodial setting for any length of time by any of the facility types mentioned above.

How can I report concerns about suspected or reported incidents of sexual misconduct?

The department takes all reports seriously the OC Probation will work cooperatively with the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. and the Orange County District Attorney to fully investigate all reports of sexual misconduct.


To report sexual abuse or sexual harassment, you can call any of the facilities listed below and request to speak to the Duty Officer or Institution Administrator

Orange County Juvenile Hall                                           Youth Guidance Center

714-935-6660                                                                        714-836-2700


Youth Leadership Academy                                             Joplin Youth Center

714-935-7099                                                                        949-635-2600


Probation Hotline                                                                PREA Coordinator

1-888-296-3389                                                                     714-935-6100


Questions regarding PREA may be referred to the OCPD PREA Coordinator

Brian Johnson
Division Director
(714) 935-6100  
Brian.Johnson@prob.ocgov.com 


II. PREA Links


Prison Rape Elimination Act Video


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