The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), is a federal law that came into effect on August 20th, 2012. PREA establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual abuse in adult prisons, jails, police lockups, private prisons, as well as juvenile facilities and community confinement facilities. The Act requires agencies to comply with national standards to eliminate sexual abuse. The standards include the prevention, detection, and prosecution of any sexual abuse within juvenile facilities.
Colorado’s Commitment to PREA Compliance
The Colorado Division of Youth Corrections (DYC) has a zero-tolerance policy relating to staff sexual misconduct, juvenile sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and consensual juvenile sexual misconduct. It is the policy of the Division to fully investigate and aggressively prosecute those who are involved in such conduct, if in fact a crime has been committed.
All juveniles placed in the custody of the Division of Youth Corrections shall be maintained in facilities that promote healthy and safe environments. All facilities responsible for the custody of juveniles shall actively implement this policy to prohibit and prevent any staff sexual misconduct, juvenile sexual misconduct, abusive sexual contact, nonconsensual sex, or consensual sex regardless of a juvenile’s age, sexual orientation, or sexual identification.
DYC designated a PREA Coordinator to oversee, coordinate and monitor implementation of PREA standards throughout all state and contract facilities. Each facility has designated a PREA Compliance Manager to oversee, coordinate and monitor implementation of the standards within their facility using best practice methods to prevent, detect, and prosecute all sexual abuse cases.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How does PREA impact the Division of Youth Corrections' (DYC) facilities?
PREA addresses the detection, response, prevention and elimination of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment in all DYC state and contract facilities. Additionally, PREA directs the collection and dissemination of information on the incidence of juvenile-on-juvenile sexual abuse as well as staff sexual misconduct with youth in DYC custody.
To whom does PREA apply?
PREA applies to all Federal, State, local public and private institutions that house juveniles and adult offenders, male and female.
What is the evidence of DYC's commitment to maintain a safe, humane, and appropriately secure environment for juveniles in DYC custody?
DYC has policies and standards for an employee, volunteer, and contractors that prohibit inappropriate relationships with juveniles in their care. All staff, volunteers, and contractors are provided training on professional ethics and in maintaining professional boundaries when interacting with youth; as well as training to detect and report staff sexual misconduct, juvenile sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and juvenile sexual misconduct.
If you suspect sexual abuse has occurred at any Division of Youth Corrections State or contract facilities, contact your local law enforcement agency or your County Department of Human Services. In addition, you can also contact the Division of Youth Corrections at 303-866-7345.
Services Offered to Victims
· Forensic medical exams performed by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
· Mental Health Counseling and Support
· Free victim services
DYC PREA Resources
If you have any questions, please contact:
Natasha Shafer, DYC PREA Coordinator