Prison Rape Elimination Act
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 is a federal law that prohibits all sexual misconduct within a correctional setting, such as prison, jails, lockups, juvenile facilities and Immigration Services. Sexual misconduct under the act is defined as
- Inmate on Inmate sexual assault/abuse
- Inmate on Inmate sexual harassment
- Staff on Inmate sexual abuse
- Staff on Inmate sexual harassment
Agencies must demonstrate a zero tolerance not merely by words and written policy, but through their actions, including what they do to prevent sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment and the response of the facilities, if it occurs.
As the prevention of sexual assaults in prison is an operational priority for NMCD, the Office of the Inspector General coordinates the Department’s compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, gathering data on investigations into prison rape and reporting it to the US Department of Justice.
New Mexico Corrections Department PREA Program
New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) is committed to ensuring the safety of all inmates within our care. The department maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding ALL forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse against an inmate is a violation of the Department policy, institutional rules and is a crime, whether committed by a staff member or an inmate.
In efforts to PREVENT abuse/sexual harassment within the facilities, NMCD has implemented the following:
- NMCD policy 150100 applies to all inmates, employees, contractors and volunteers who enter our facilities.
- NMCD has appointed a designated PREA Coordinator with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement and oversee the agency efforts to comply with the PREA Standards in all facilities.
- Each public facility has designated a PREA Compliance Manager with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement and oversee the facility efforts to comply with the PREA Standards within each facility.
- NMCD PREA Staff Information
- Background checks are completed on all staff, contractors and volunteers prior to entering a facility.
- Institutional PREA Employee background checks are completed. NMCD will cooperate with providing an institutional PREA background of former employees. Complete the PREA Questionnaire for Prior Instutional Employers and submit the request to NMCD-PREA-Employee-Background-Checks
- All staff, contractors and volunteers are required to attend PREA basic training and annual refresher training. Contractor and Volunteer Forms
- Report any occurrence to any staff member verbally, via telephone or by mail, you may do so anonymously, if you choose.
NMCD has taken the following Prevention, Reporting and Investigative Efforts:
- Requires forensic medical examinations be used whenever possible for sexual assaults.
- Requires all NMCD staff, contract employees and volunteers to attend PREA basic training and annual refresher training.
- Requires specialized training for first responders that covers crime scene preservation, avoiding contamination, following forensic evidence collection protocol as it applies to sexual assault victims and/or sexual predators. Other specialized training includes addressing the dynamics of sexual victimization, signs/symptoms associated with sexual violence and appropriate responses and interventions for victims of sexual abuse and/or sexual predators.
- Uses a classification process to identify potential sexual vulnerability and sexually aggressive behavior in offenders.
- Has a facility PREA Compliance Manager at each facility.
Reporting and Investigations
Services Offered to Victims of Sexual Abuse
- Free, confidential rape crisis hotline
- Mental Health counseling
- Free forensic medical examination performed by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
- Provide victim advocacy/victim rights information if applicable
- Provide the opportunity to report allegations to an agency outside NMCD at Colorado Department of Corrections 1250 Academy Park Loop Colorado Springs, Colorado 80910
- Monitoring for retaliation by the PREA Coordinator
NMCD PREA Annual Reports
PREA standard 115.87 requires data be collected and aggregated on sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment incidents for NMCD and private prisons.
Aggregated data can be reviewed below:
In accordance with PREA standards 115.401 Frequency and scope of audits and 115.403 Audit contents and findings.
115.401 Frequency and Scope of Audits
During a three-year period starting on August 20, 2013, and during each three-year period thereafter, the agency shall ensure that each facility operated by the agency, or by a private organization on behalf of the agency, is audited at least once.
During each one-year period starting on August 20, 2013, the agency shall ensure that at least one-third of each facility type operated by the agency, or by a private organization on behalf of the agency, is audited.
To maintain and ensure compliance, below you may find the audit reports to date: