What is PREA? PREA stands for the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on September 4, 2003. The final regulatory standards to implement PREA went into effect on August 20, 2012.
What is the purpose of PREA? PREA addresses the detection, prevention, reduction, and prosecution of sexual harassment and sexual abuse in all correctional facilities in the country.
What facilities does PREA apply? PREA applies to all confinement facilities in the state. This includes all prisons, jails, police lock-ups, juvenile facilities, immigration detention centers, court holding facilities, and community corrections facilities (home monitoring, probation, parole, halfway houses).
What is sexual abuse by an inmate? Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by another inmate, detainee, or resident includes any of the following acts, if the victim does not consent, is coerced into such act by overt or implied threats of violence, or is unable to consent or refuse:
What is sexual abuse by staff, visitors, contractors, or volunteers? Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer includes any of the following acts, with or without consent of the inmate, detainee, or resident:
What is sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, request for favors, or verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one inmate, detainee, or resident directed toward another. Repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate, detainee, or resident 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.
What should someone do if they suspect a sexual assault has occurred in a correctional facility? Anyone who suspects or has knowledge of any sexual harassment or sexual abuse of any juvenile or adult in our correctional facility should immediately report it to a staff member or other member working in the jail facilities. Anyone who receives a report of sexual abuse or harassment in any confinement setting must send it up the chain of command for investigation and disposition.
Reporting of sexual abuse or sexual harassment Every report that is made is taken seriously and will be investigated fully. The Escambia County Corrections Department has a zero-tolerance policy for any sexual abuse and sexual harassment made or attempted by any inmate, staff member, volunteer, visitor, or contractor. The Escambia County Corrections Department offers multiple ways to report sexual abuse and sexual harassment:
For foreign nationals- If you have been the victim of a sexual assault and are a non-U.S. citizen who is arrested or detained, you may request to notify your country’s consular officer here in the United States of your situation. A consular officer may be able to help you obtain legal representation, contact your family and visit you in detention, among other opportunities for support and guidance. If you are requesting to notify your consular officer in reference to a sexual assault, you can submit a request on the inmate tablet system or submit a handwritten request to the housing unit officer or Shift Supervisor. Be sure to include the country, of the Consulate, you are requesting to notify.
For detainees with Immigration holds-The ICE Community and Detainee Helpline is a toll-free service that can be reached by dialing 1-888-351-4024. This is a toll-free number and has been made a non-recorded number by the facility, for the purpose of reporting sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. Live trained operators are available Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Language assistance, including Spanish operators, is also available. Individuals with a hold for Immigrations can speak to an operator to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual abuse.
In addition to services available from our mental health team, the Escambia County Corrections Department has partnered with Lakeview Center Victim Services to provide survivors of sexual abuse with emotional support services. To access these services, you can call (850) 469-3800. Lakeview Center Victim Services is located at 1201 W Lakeview Ave, Bldg. H, Pensacola, Fl 32501.
In compliance with PREA, The Escambia County Corrections Department is committed to emphasizing a zero-tolerance of the sexual abuse of inmates, either by staff or other prisoners. Sexual abuse affects everyone, either directly or through the experiences of those we care about. It is not only a women’s issue, as it can affect persons of any gender, age, race ethnic group, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or disability.
Inappropriate physical contact between inmates will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.
The Department’s mission is to increase public safety, and part of that mission is making sure that this is a safe facility. This facility does not tolerate sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or retaliation for reporting sexual abuse or sexual harassment.
No one has a right to pressure inmates to engage in sexual acts or engage in unwanted sexual behavior, as they have a right to be safe and free from sexual harassment and sexual assaults. Individuals who sexually abuse or assault detainees/inmates can only be removed, disciplined and/or prosecuted if the abuse is reported. Inmates do not have to name other inmates to receive assistance, but specific information may make it easier for staff to help you.
Any inmate who is sexually abused or sexually harassed has the right to report privately and safely, and this facility offers several ways that an inmate can make a report.
If an inmate is abused, that person has the right to get help from trained medical and mental health care professionals who work in the facility.
Inmates who are abused also have the right to receive emotional support services from trained counselors from our Mental Health team.
Pat Searches and Routine Medical Examinations
Security searches and routine medical examinations conducted by staff in accordance with established policy and procedures will not be considered as sexual abuse or misconduct.
Actions Taken When an Allegation of Sexual Abuse is Reported
Information concerning the identity of the inmate victim reporting the sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment and the facts of the report itself is limited to those who have a need to know in order to make decisions concerning the inmate victim’s welfare and for law enforcement investigative purposes.
Inmates will receive medical care. With the inmate’s permission, they will be transported to a local hospital for a sexual assault examination, testing, counseling, and treatment. The exam will be conducted privately and professionally. Upon the inmate’s return to the facility, they will be provided follow-up medical and mental health care.
Crisis counseling, coping skills, suicide prevention, and mental health counseling are all available to inmates at the jail. Inmates may seek counseling and advice from a psychologist or Chaplain. Most people need help to recover from the emotional effects of sexual assault. If an inmate has been the victim of sexual assault, recently or in the past, staff are available to assist.
Retaliation by inmates and staff against individuals because of their involvement in the reporting or investigation of a sexual assault/abuse or sexual misconduct complaint is prohibited. The PREA Coordinator will meet regularly with victims after the allegation to ensure you are protected and safe from retaliation.
The following websites provide valuable information to detainees, inmates and staff in reference to PREA.
The Escambia County Corrections Department Point of Contact for PREA allegations, questions, or reporting is:PREA Coordinator – Lt. C. Watson 850-436-0208
The mission of Escambia County government is to provide efficient, responsive services that enhance our quality of life, meet common needs and promote a safe and healthy community.
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