By Dianne Beer-Maxwell, Guest Blogger; and Program Manager, Elimination of Sexual Abuse in Confinement Initiative, IACP
Most police agencies will be responsible for temporarily detaining people for a variety of reasons and for a varying length of time as part of their enforcement mandate/mission. And as with all enforcement/custody responsibilities, temporary detention can be a source of potential liability for that agency. One of the challenges of temporary detainment can be providing protection to both detainees and staff, especially when it comes to sexual abuse.
The IACP Elimination of Sexual Abuse in Confinement Initiative is seeking feedback from law enforcement leaders that have any form of a lockup – whether you have one holding cell in a smaller police department or hundreds of cells across multiple substations. This brief needs assessment survey should take only a few minutes to complete and all responses will be kept confidential. It is important that the survey be completed by staff with responsibility for and/or knowledge of the lockup operations and training needs in your agency.
Your feedback is essential to guide our efforts in developing resources to help agencies prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement. These resources will also help inform law enforcement leaders about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards for lockups, recently released by the US Department of Justice. Compliance with the PREA standards is not mandatory for local lockups, but voluntary compliance may provide protection to both detainees and officers, limit the agency’s exposure to liability, and bolster the reputation of the agency in the community.You can learn more about the PREA standards and existing resources (including webinars) at the National PREA Resource Center.
Learn more about the Elimination of Sexual Abuse in Confinement Initiative, a partnership between IACP and the National PREA Resource Center, by visiting our webpage. If you have questions or would like additional information about PREA, contact Dianne Beer-Maxwell. Thank you for your support.