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The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) at the Union County Department of Corrections

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into Federal law in 2003 by President George W. Bush. It was created to address the problem of sexual misconduct in all confinement facilities. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice released national PREA standards to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in confinement facilities.

The Union County Department of Corrections (UCDOC) is responsible for protecting the rights of inmates placed under the Department’s custody and supervision. The Department has established a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment and acts to prevent, detect and respond to all allegations and incidents of sexual misconduct.

All Union County Department of Corrections employees, volunteers and contractors receive training on their duties and responsibilities under the Department’s zero-tolerance policy and are informed that they are required to immediately report any incident or allegation of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

The UCDOC investigates all allegations of offender–on–offender and staff–on–offender sexual misconduct. You can report sexual misconduct in multiple ways:

  • Contact the UCDOC PREA Coordinator at 908-659-2014
  • Contact the UDCOC Special Investigations Unit at 908-558-2243
  • Contact the UCDOC Director’s Office at 908-558-2613

Information for family and friends of those in custody of the UCDOC

The Union County Department of Corrections takes every report of sexual misconduct seriously and all allegations will be referred for investigation. All staff, volunteers and contractors receive training in the awareness and reporting of sexual misconduct. All victims will be provided with medical and mental health care. Staff/inmate sexual misconduct is against the law in New Jersey.

THE UNION COUNTY DEPT OF CORRECTIONS RECOGNIZES THE RIGHT OF OFFENDERS TO BE FREE FROM SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is federal law that went into effect in September of 2003 and prohibits

sexual misconduct in correctional settings such as prisons, jails, lockups, juvenile facilities and Immigration

Services/ICE detention facilities. Sexual misconduct under this law includes:

  • Offender-on-offender sexual assault and abuse
  • Staff-on-offender sexual misconduct sexual/inappropriate relationships with offenders)
  • Offender-on-offender and staff-on offender sexual harassment

The Union County Department of Corrections (UCDOC) has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct of any kind and

will impose discipline for such misconduct, up to and including termination and criminal prosecution for staff as well as discipline for offenders who victimize other offenders.

Incidents of sexual misconduct will also be referred to law enforcement when applicable. UCDOC policies prohibiting sexual misconduct apply to all offenders, employees, contractors, and volunteers.

How would I know if my family member/ friend is being threatened/ victimized?

A victim may:

  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Suffer a loss of appetite
  • Experience stomachaches and/or headaches
  • Display anger or rage
  • Seem unusually anxious
  • Express concern about their safety
  • Seem unusually detached or withdrawn
  • Have episodes of crying or shaking
  • Not care about their personal hygiene

What can I do to help?

There are many ways to help someone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct during confinement including:

  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Listen; be supportive and patient
  • Encourage them to report the abuse
  • Reporting abuse on their behalf

Having a family member or friend who has been the victim of sexual misconduct can be very upsetting. For this reason, it is also important to take care of yourself.

Can I report sexual abuse/misconduct for my family member/friend?

YES you can. If you have information regarding a UCDOC offender who has been the victim of sexual misconduct while under UCDOC custody, you may:

  • Contact the UCDOC PREA Coordinator at 908-659-2014
  • Contact the UCDOC Special Investigations Unit at 908-558-2243
  • Contact the UCDOC Director’s Office at 908-558-2613

The UCDOC has a zero tolerance for all forms of retaliation against any person because of his/her involvement in the reporting or investigation of a PREA claim.

2015 PREA Annual Report

This report has been prepared in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape28 C.F.R. Part 115 in order to assess and improve the effectiveness of its sexual abuse prevention, detection, and response policies, practices, and training.  In subsequent years, the information collected for this report will be used to identify problem areas and to take corrective action on an ongoing basis.

Analysis/Corrective Action

The Union County Department of Corrections (UCDOC) has always maintained a “Zero-Tolerance” policy with regard to sexual activity.  The UCDOC has implemented measures in order to aid in the prevention, detection, and treatment of PREA cases.  The following practices have been maintained and established:

  1. Significant policy modifications were made in order to comply with audit instruments established by the U.S. Department of Justice’s PREA Standards for Prisons and Jails.
  2. The facilities PREA Coordinator underwent additional training.
  3. The UCDOC maintained the in-house PREA hotline- The UCDOC provides the ability for inmates to report sexual abuse or sexual harassment on a dedicated Sexual Assault Hotline.
  4. Modified the inmate risk assessment screening tool in order to better capture risk information.
  5. Modified the classification system.
  6. Streamlined the uniform tracking system for case management.
  7. The uniform after action review system was altered to better assess the facilities ability to identify preventative measures.
  8. Implementation of a system of review for all substantiated claims focusing on the monitoring of both victims and predators via classification, medical, mental health, social services, and the PREA Review Committee.
  9. Maintained guidelines for an initial PREA incident response.
  10. Maintained a system for Mental Health Referral.
  11. Continued distribution of PREA educational pamphlets.
  12. Continued distribution of PREA education posters.
  13. Modifications to existing training to incorporate additional PREA curricula for all staff.

2015 Statistics

Inmate on InmateNumber
Substantiated0
Unsubstantiated4
Unfounded0
Staff on InmateNumber
Substantiated0
Unsubstantiated0
Unfounded0