Colorado's Commitment to Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Prevention (SAM)

The CDHS Division of Youth Services (DYS) has a zero-tolerance policy relating to staff sexual misconduct, youth sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and consensual youth sexual misconduct. It is DYS policy to fully cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of those who are involved in such conduct, if in fact a crime has been committed. 

All youth placed in the custody of DYS shall be maintained in youth centers that promote healthy and safe environments. All youth centers responsible for the custody of youth shall actively implement this policy to prohibit and prevent staff sexual misconduct, youth sexual misconduct, abusive sexual contact, non-consensual sex, or consensual sex regardless of a youth’s age, sexual orientation, or sexual identification.

DYS designated a Sex Abuse and Misconduct Prevention Coordinator to oversee, coordinate and monitor implementation of PREA standards throughout all state and contract youth centers. Each center has designated a Sex Abuse and Misconduct Prevention Compliance Manager to oversee, coordinate and monitor implementation of the standards within their center using best practice methods to prevent, detect, and prosecute all sexual abuse cases.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), is a federal law that became effective in 2003. PREA establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual abuse in adult prisons, jails, police lockups, private prisons, as well as youth centers and community confinement centers. 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 youth centers.