The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted in 2003, was created to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. In addition to providing federal funding for research, programs, training, and technical assistance to address the issue, the legislation mandated the development of national standards. The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission developed recommended national standards for reducing prison rape. The final standards became effective June 20, 2012, when they were published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Federal Register. More recently, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released final standards for DHS confinement facilities, effective May 6, 2014.
CoreCivic has an Agency PREA Coordinator who is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight essential to demonstrate compliance with the National PREA Standards. CoreCivic also has a PREA Compliance Manager at each facility.
The full text of the standards can be found at www.PREAResourceCenter.org.
As stated in our Human Rights Policy statement, CoreCivic recognizes the inherent dignity of the human person and the need to treat every individual with respect. Part of treating our inmates and detainees with respect is giving them a safe place to live. We believe in safeguarding their rights, including protecting them from being subjected to personal abuse/injury and harassment.
To learn more about CoreCivic's efforts to protect inmate and detainee rights, click here to be directed to our page under For Families.
In compliance with Section 115.11 of the PREA regulation, CoreCivic has established a Zero Tolerance Policy against all forms of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment. CoreCivic has outlined an aggressive plan specifying the efforts we undertake to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to all allegations of conduct that falls into either category.
This plan is articulated in CoreCivic's Policy 14-2, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response, which is available here.
CoreCivic has designed a comprehensive training plan for all staff that complies with the content of Section 115.31 of the regulation. The standard requires that this training be refreshed every two years, however, as a part of our commitment to eliminating sexual abuse and sexual harassment in our facilities, CoreCivic has opted to ensure this training is provided annually.
All inmates received at a CoreCivic facility beginning at initial reception, will receive education and training on the requirements of PREA. This training has a particular focus on CoreCivic's Zero Tolerance Policy, the right to be free from Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse, directions on how to report allegations of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment, and their right to be free from retaliation for reporting incidents.
Anyone can report an allegation or suspected incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment; including inmates, staff, or third parties. This can include allegations that may have occurred at another correctional facility. At a CoreCivic facility, there are multiple options to file a report; including, but not limited to:
It is not required that any personal information be provided. However, the more information that can be provided regarding dates, times, locations, witnesses, and as much detail about the alleged incident as is known serves to assist staff and law enforcement in their efforts to successfully conduct the investigations.
All allegations of sexual conduct shall be promptly, thoroughly, and objectively investigated. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, each allegation will be classified as Substantiated, Unsubstantiated, or Unfounded. Allegations of Sexual Abuse will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation and potential prosecution. All substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment will result in the appropriate disciplinary actions taken against the Employee, Contractor, Volunteer, or Inmate, and where appropriate referral for prosecution.
Facility Investigators have all received specialized training regarding how to conduct investigations of sexual abuse in the correctional setting. Criminal allegations are generally referred via agreement to Local Law Enforcement Agencies or Investigating bodies under the authority of the Contracting Agency.
Questions or inquiries can be forwarded to:
Eric S. Pierson, Senior Director — PREA Compliance and Programs
10 Burton Hills Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37215