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e-CFR data is current as of December 2, 2020

Title 28Chapter IPart 115Subpart D → Subject Group


Title 28: Judicial Administration
PART 115—PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT NATIONAL STANDARDS
Subpart D—Standards for Juvenile Facilities


Investigations

§115.371   Criminal and administrative agency investigations.

(a) When the agency conducts its own investigations into allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, it shall do so promptly, thoroughly, and objectively for all allegations, including third-party and anonymous reports.

(b) Where sexual abuse is alleged, the agency shall use investigators who have received special training in sexual abuse investigations involving juvenile victims pursuant to §115.334.

(c) Investigators shall gather and preserve direct and circumstantial evidence, including any available physical and DNA evidence and any available electronic monitoring data; shall interview alleged victims, suspected perpetrators, and witnesses; and shall review prior complaints and reports of sexual abuse involving the suspected perpetrator.

(d) The agency shall not terminate an investigation solely because the source of the allegation recants the allegation.

(e) When the quality of evidence appears to support criminal prosecution, the agency shall conduct compelled interviews only after consulting with prosecutors as to whether compelled interviews may be an obstacle for subsequent criminal prosecution.

(f) The credibility of an alleged victim, suspect, or witness shall be assessed on an individual basis and shall not be determined by the person's status as resident or staff. No agency shall require a resident who alleges sexual abuse to submit to a polygraph examination or other truth-telling device as a condition for proceeding with the investigation of such an allegation.

(g) Administrative investigations:

(1) Shall include an effort to determine whether staff actions or failures to act contributed to the abuse; and

(2) Shall be documented in written reports that include a description of the physical and testimonial evidence, the reasoning behind credibility assessments, and investigative facts and findings.

(h) Criminal investigations shall be documented in a written report that contains a thorough description of physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence and attaches copies of all documentary evidence where feasible.

(i) Substantiated allegations of conduct that appears to be criminal shall be referred for prosecution.

(j) The agency shall retain all written reports referenced in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section for as long as the alleged abuser is incarcerated or employed by the agency, plus five years, unless the abuse was committed by a juvenile resident and applicable law requires a shorter period of retention.

(k) The departure of the alleged abuser or victim from the employment or control of the facility or agency shall not provide a basis for terminating an investigation.

(l) Any State entity or Department of Justice component that conducts such investigations shall do so pursuant to the above requirements.

(m) When outside agencies investigate sexual abuse, the facility shall cooperate with outside investigators and shall endeavor to remain informed about the progress of the investigation.

§115.372   Evidentiary standard for administrative investigations.

The agency shall impose no standard higher than a preponderance of the evidence in determining whether allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are substantiated.

§115.373   Reporting to residents.

(a) Following an investigation into a resident's allegation of sexual abuse suffered in an agency facility, the agency shall inform the resident as to whether the allegation has been determined to be substantiated, unsubstantiated, or unfounded.

(b) If the agency did not conduct the investigation, it shall request the relevant information from the investigative agency in order to inform the resident.

(c) Following a resident's allegation that a staff member has committed sexual abuse against the resident, the agency shall subsequently inform the resident (unless the agency has determined that the allegation is unfounded) whenever:

(1) The staff member is no longer posted within the resident's unit;

(2) The staff member is no longer employed at the facility;

(3) The agency learns that the staff member has been indicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility; or

(4) The agency learns that the staff member has been convicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility.

(d) Following a resident's allegation that he or she has been sexually abused by another resident, the agency shall subsequently inform the alleged victim whenever:

(1) The agency learns that the alleged abuser has been indicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility; or

(2) The agency learns that the alleged abuser has been convicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility.

(e) All such notifications or attempted notifications shall be documented.

(f) An agency's obligation to report under this standard shall terminate if the resident is released from the agency's custody.

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