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Prison Rape Elimination Act

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is federal law seeking to eliminate sexual abuse and sexual misconduct in correctional facilities. This law applies to all federal and state prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities, juvenile facilities and community correctional settings.

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission studied the impact of sexual abuse in correctional settings on federal, state and local government along with communities and social institutions. Their findings lead to a set of recommended national standards for enhancing prevention, detection and response to sexual abuse.

The final national standards were signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and released by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) in May, 2012. All federal correctional facilities were certified compliant with the standards in May of 2013. State correctional facilities had until May of 2014 to certify compliance or submit assurance to become compliant. Failure to do so subjects the state to loss of USDOJ funds.

Governor Kasich submitted assurance to the USDOJ that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction will continue to work toward compliance. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Correction Center also continues to work toward compliance with the PREA standards.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Corrections, has a zero-tolerance standard for incidence of sexual abuse and sexual harassment and also makes prevention of inmate sexual abuse a top priority. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office also extends this zero tolerance policy to include any personnel, volunteers, interns, or contract personnel, who may have contact with inmates and will thoroughly investigate and hold accountable person(s) who violate these policies and Ohio State laws.

Policy

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Corrections Center will provide a safe, humane and appropriately secure environment, with zero-tolerance of sexual abuse and sexual harassment for all inmates, by maintaining a program of prevention, detection, response, investigation and tracking. Any inmate that has been the victim of sexual abuse or sexual harassment will be monitored to prevent any further harm. Special attention will be paid to jail placement and a specific treatment plan will be developed for the victim of an act of sexual abuse.

Reporting

Inmates experiencing incidents of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are provided multiple means of making a report. To allow for the quickest response, inmates are encouraged to verbally report to any staff member immediately. Inmates may file written grievances by submitting an Inmate Request Form (kite), or by mailing a letter to the Sheriff at P.O. Box 5600 Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Reports may also be made by telephone (toll-free) to Cleveland Rape Crisis Center at (216) 619-6192.

Non-inmates (third-parties) may report incidents of sexual abuse or sexual harassment of an inmate confined in the Corrections Center by contacting the Warden’s Office at (216) 443-6125, Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 4:00pm. At other times contact should be made by calling (216) 443-6155. Click here for the corrections center policy and Procedures for  Reporting and Investigation of Sexual Abuse policy.

Data Collection

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department collects accurate, uniform data on every report of sexual abuse occurring in the Corrections Center and all other correctional facilities with which it contracts for the board and care of county inmates. The data collected is used, in part, to complete the annual Survey of Sexual Violence that is forwarded to the USDOJ.

To view survey data click on the links provided below: