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Developing State Prison Policies to Respond to Sexual Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2008
4 pages
This article identifies policies, programs, and strategies established to deal with prison sexual violence (PSV) and its consequences.
The article found that the passage of the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 provided stimuli for PSV policy development, or was a factor in agency-wide review of preexisting policies and practices relating to PSV. In many States, agency task forces or steering committees were created to develop PSV policies and procedures consistent with PREA. Each of the department of corrections (DOCs) represented in this study pursued its own distinctive path in developing PSV programs and policies, and half of the DOCs surveyed reported having facility-specific approaches initiated by individual managers and staff. Background is provided in the article on two States often cited as models by their peers, Ohio and Texas, on their work in preventing and responding to PSV. Data were obtained by a survey instrument initiated by the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center and the Association of State Correctional Administrators. The survey was delivered to 50 State DOCs, and had a 99 percent response rate. Interviews were conducted with senior administrators of the responding departments, along with 67 State corrections program and policy officials. The study group visited 11 States identified as having implemented promising and unique approaches to dealing with PSV.

Date Published: August 1, 2008