What is PREA?
In September of 2003, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into law. PREA is a federal mandate of “Zero Tolerance” to sexual assaults on a national forum. PREA is the first national law to be passed addressing sexual assault behind bars. The law was passed unanimously and quickly by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Some of the components of PREA include: establishing a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of rape in prisons in the United States and make the prevention of prison rape a top priority in each prison system. Furthermore, it created a plan to develop and implement national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape, as well as, increase the availability of data and information about the incidence of prison rape.
Zero Tolerance Policy
In accordance with the standards set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), the Inglewood Police Department has a zero tolerance policy for any act of assault, abuse, misconduct and harassment, of a sexual nature, perpetrated by another inmate/detainee or staff member, regardless of consent. Sexual conduct between inmates/detainees and staff, volunteers, or contract personnel, regardless of consensual status, is prohibited and subject to appropriate personnel action up to and including termination and potential criminal prosecution. There is no consent for sexual behavior in a custody environment.
All persons booked into the Inglewood Police Department Jail are provided with orientation materials which include information on PREA and how to report an assault. Additionally, educational posters highlighting sexual assault awareness and how to report an assault are located throughout the Inglewood Police Department Jail facility.
Upon admission and prior to housing, all inmates/detainees will be interviewed and classified by Custody staff. This process will be accomplished through background checks and a confidential personal interview with each inmate/detainee. A factor considered in the classification process is the likelihood of becoming a victim of sexual assault. Classification and housing decisions are made with the intent to avoid and prevent sexual assaults.
Reporting Sexual Assaults
INGLEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT STAFF
Due to the serious nature of sexual assaults, any staff member knowledgeable of any inmate on inmate or staff on inmate sexual assault that occurs within the Inglewood Police Department Jail facility must immediately report the allegation to departmental management, via the chain-of-command, in accordance with agency policies.
Inmates being held in IPD custody are encouraged to immediately report allegations of sexual assault to correctional staff, mental health, medical staff, facility administrators or by calling the grievance hotline number posted in their housing area.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF INMATES/DETAINEE
Allegations of sexual assault or abuse can also be reported by friends and family on behalf of an IPD inmate/detainee by contacting the facility Watch Commander at (310) 412-5206.
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Coordinator
The Inglewood Police Department has a designated PREA Compliance and Training Coordinator responsible for coordinating and developing procedures to identify, monitor, and track staff and offender sexual abuse, misconduct and harassment. The PREA coordinator also ensures compliance with department policy, applicable state or federal laws, and PREA standards. Finally, the coordinator records, collects and reports statistical data to the Department of Justice on an annual basis as required by PREA standards.
Prevention, Intervention and Victim Services
- Inmates/detainees who claim to be victims of sexual abuse, misconduct, or harassment, whether allegedly perpetrated by another inmate/detainee or staff, will be offered a medical examination, documentation, and treatment of injuries, as well as, a mental health evaluation and treatment.
- Housing, medical and mental health staff will monitor the physical and mental health of the victim and coordinate the continuation of necessary services.
- Medical staff will provide routine examinations, as well as, STD and HIV follow-ups as necessary.
- Inmates/Detainees who are victims of sexual abuse, assault or harassment shall be re-evaluated by Custody staff to determine appropriate housing.
Sworn and Professional staff members who work with inmates/detainees shall participate in sexual abuse and assault prevention and intervention training during their initial orientation and annual training updates.
How Is a Sexual Assault Incident Handled?
All allegations of sexual assault/abuse are taken seriously.
- When reported to any staff member, Custody staff is immediately notified.
- Custody staff will make necessary notifications using the chain of command on a need-to-know basis.
- Custody staff will provide the victim immediate protection and removal from the area.
- Medical staff is notified.
- As trained first responders, Custody staff with treat the incident area as a crime scene and conduct an initial investigation.
- Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health will be contacted to provide both mental counseling and medical assistance ensuring victim confidentiality. The Inglewood Police Department’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) will be contacted to conduct a more thorough investigation.
What to Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted
- If the attack has just happened - Get to a safe place.
- If in custody, REPORT THE ATTACK TO A STAFF MEMBER or LAW ENFORCEMENT IMMEDIATELY. The longer you wait to report the attack the more difficult it is to obtain the evidence necessary for a criminal and/or administrative investigation.
- Seek immediate medical attention. You may have serious injuries that you are not aware of, and any sexual contact can expose you to sexually transmitted diseases.
- If sexual abuse or assault of any inmate or detainee in jail custody occurs, the medical, psychological, safety and legal needs of the victim shall be promptly and effectively addressed.
- As appropriate to the event, the person victimized by an act of sexual abuse, assault or any mistreatment while being detained in the facility shall be referred, under appropriate security provisions, to medical services as well as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for treatment.
- Treatment can include medical and mental health evaluations and treatment, crisis intervention counseling, and recommendations for post-release follow-up treatment.