What Is It?
In September of 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act was signed into
law and became the first federal law to address the sexual abuse and harassment
of incarcerated individuals. The law mandates that states adopt a
"Zero Tolerance" for all forms of offender sexual abuse and
harassment and that each state make prevention of offender sexual abuse and
harassment a top priority.
Zero Tolerance Policy
Every incarcerated individual has the right to be free from sexual abuse and
harassment.In accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the
Department of Justice Services has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of
offender and staff sexual abuse and harassment. The department will
investigate all allegations and actively seek prosecution when an incident is
Sexual abuse is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact. When sexual
contact is accomplished through fear, threat or implied, it is considered
sexual abuse. Staff-on-Offender sexual misconduct will not be
tolerated. It is against state law for a staff member, contractor or
volunteer, to engage in any type of sexual behavior with an offender.
The department has taken various steps to stop sexual abuse and
harassment, including providing the offender population with multiple ways to
report sexual abuse, training our staff to recognize the signs and symptoms of
sexual abuse, and educating the offender population on how to avoid sexual
abuse and report sexual abuse.
Reporting Offender Sexual Abuse or Harassment
The Department of Justice Services takes the safety of incarcerated offenders very
seriously and ensures that everyone that lives or works within our facilities
understands the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse and how to report
allegations of abuse.