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e-CFR data is current as of December 3, 2020

Title 28Chapter IPart 115Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 28: Judicial Administration
PART 115—PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT NATIONAL STANDARDS
Subpart A—Standards for Adult Prisons and Jails


Official Response Following an Inmate Report

§115.61   Staff and agency reporting duties.

(a) The agency shall require all staff to report immediately and according to agency policy any knowledge, suspicion, or information regarding an incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment that occurred in a facility, whether or not it is part of the agency; retaliation against inmates or staff who reported such an incident; and any staff neglect or violation of responsibilities that may have contributed to an incident or retaliation.

(b) Apart from reporting to designated supervisors or officials, staff shall not reveal any information related to a sexual abuse report to anyone other than to the extent necessary, as specified in agency policy, to make treatment, investigation, and other security and management decisions.

(c) Unless otherwise precluded by Federal, State, or local law, medical and mental health practitioners shall be required to report sexual abuse pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section and to inform inmates of the practitioner's duty to report, and the limitations of confidentiality, at the initiation of services.

(d) If the alleged victim is under the age of 18 or considered a vulnerable adult under a State or local vulnerable persons statute, the agency shall report the allegation to the designated State or local services agency under applicable mandatory reporting laws.

(e) The facility shall report all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, including third-party and anonymous reports, to the facility's designated investigators.

§115.62   Agency protection duties.

When an agency learns that an inmate is subject to a substantial risk of imminent sexual abuse, it shall take immediate action to protect the inmate.

§115.63   Reporting to other confinement facilities.

(a) Upon receiving an allegation that an inmate was sexually abused while confined at another facility, the head of the facility that received the allegation shall notify the head of the facility or appropriate office of the agency where the alleged abuse occurred.

(b) Such notification shall be provided as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after receiving the allegation.

(c) The agency shall document that it has provided such notification.

(d) The facility head or agency office that receives such notification shall ensure that the allegation is investigated in accordance with these standards.

§115.64   Staff first responder duties.

(a) Upon learning of an allegation that an inmate was sexually abused, the first security staff member to respond to the report shall be required to:

(1) Separate the alleged victim and abuser;

(2) Preserve and protect any crime scene until appropriate steps can be taken to collect any evidence;

(3) If the abuse occurred within a time period that still allows for the collection of physical evidence, request that the alleged victim not take any actions that could destroy physical evidence, including, as appropriate, washing, brushing teeth, changing clothes, urinating, defecating, smoking, drinking, or eating; and

(4) If the abuse occurred within a time period that still allows for the collection of physical evidence, ensure that the alleged abuser does not take any actions that could destroy physical evidence, including, as appropriate, washing, brushing teeth, changing clothes, urinating, defecating, smoking, drinking, or eating.

(b) If the first staff responder is not a security staff member, the responder shall be required to request that the alleged victim not take any actions that could destroy physical evidence, and then notify security staff.

§115.65   Coordinated response.

The facility shall develop a written institutional plan to coordinate actions taken in response to an incident of sexual abuse, among staff first responders, medical and mental health practitioners, investigators, and facility leadership.

§115.66   Preservation of ability to protect inmates from contact with abusers.

(a) Neither the agency nor any other governmental entity responsible for collective bargaining on the agency's behalf shall enter into or renew any collective bargaining agreement or other agreement that limits the agency's ability to remove alleged staff sexual abusers from contact with any inmates pending the outcome of an investigation or of a determination of whether and to what extent discipline is warranted.

(b) Nothing in this standard shall restrict the entering into or renewal of agreements that govern:

(1) The conduct of the disciplinary process, as long as such agreements are not inconsistent with the provisions of §§115.72 and 115.76; or

(2) Whether a no-contact assignment that is imposed pending the outcome of an investigation shall be expunged from or retained in the staff member's personnel file following a determination that the allegation of sexual abuse is not substantiated.

§115.67   Agency protection against retaliation.

(a) The agency shall establish a policy to protect all inmates and staff who report sexual abuse or sexual harassment or cooperate with sexual abuse or sexual harassment investigations from retaliation by other inmates or staff, and shall designate which staff members or departments are charged with monitoring retaliation.

(b) The agency shall employ multiple protection measures, such as housing changes or transfers for inmate victims or abusers, removal of alleged staff or inmate abusers from contact with victims, and emotional support services for inmates or staff who fear retaliation for reporting sexual abuse or sexual harassment or for cooperating with investigations.

(c) For at least 90 days following a report of sexual abuse, the agency shall monitor the conduct and treatment of inmates or staff who reported the sexual abuse and of inmates who were reported to have suffered sexual abuse to see if there are changes that may suggest possible retaliation by inmates or staff, and shall act promptly to remedy any such retaliation. Items the agency should monitor include any inmate disciplinary reports, housing, or program changes, or negative performance reviews or reassignments of staff. The agency shall continue such monitoring beyond 90 days if the initial monitoring indicates a continuing need.

(d) In the case of inmates, such monitoring shall also include periodic status checks.

(e) If any other individual who cooperates with an investigation expresses a fear of retaliation, the agency shall take appropriate measures to protect that individual against retaliation.

(f) An agency's obligation to monitor shall terminate if the agency determines that the allegation is unfounded.

§115.68   Post-allegation protective custody.

Any use of segregated housing to protect an inmate who is alleged to have suffered sexual abuse shall be subject to the requirements of §115.43.

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