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 substantiated.
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.