Revisions to JDAI Facility Assessment Standards on the Way

Posted September 23, 2013
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice has issued the final Prison Rape Elim­i­na­tion Act (PREA) stan­dards, out­lin­ing the steps juve­nile and adult facil­i­ties must take to address sex­u­al mis­con­duct pre­ven­tion, detec­tion and response. In response to these updat­ed stan­dards, the Cen­ter for Children’s Law and Pol­i­cy (CCLP), and the Youth Law Cen­ter (YLC) are revis­ing the facil­i­ty assess­ment stan­dards for Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive (JDAI) sites. The revi­sions will incor­po­rate PREA’s main require­ments, as well as updates to stan­dards involv­ing room con­fine­ment, youth with lim­it­ed Eng­lish pro­fi­cien­cy and youth with dis­abil­i­ties, fam­i­ly engage­ment and oth­er top­ics. CCLP and YLC expect to release the revised stan­dards at the JDAI Inter-site Con­fer­ence in ear­ly 2014.

As a part of the JDAI frame­work, mul­ti­ple juris­dic­tions with­in 39 states have already estab­lished local and in some cas­es state capac­i­ty to exam­ine deten­tion facil­i­ties’ con­di­tions of con­fine­ment and improve facil­i­ty poli­cies and oper­a­tions using the JDAI facil­i­ty assess­ment stan­dards. Through that process, JDAI sites have adopt­ed best prac­tices in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent areas. With the revi­sions to the JDAI facil­i­ty assess­ment stan­dards, JDAI sites will have a new tool to help them work toward com­pli­ance with PREA and oth­er advances in the field.
Fol­low­ing the release of the PREA stan­dards, CCLP devel­oped a quick ref­er­ence guide that out­lines PREA require­ments in each of the eight areas cov­ered by the JDAI facil­i­ty assess­ment stan­dards. The guide is avail­able on the JDAI Help Desk.
The final PREA stan­dards and the Depart­ment of Jus­tice com­men­tary are now avail­able. These stan­dards help agen­cies and facil­i­ties estab­lish zero tol­er­ance cul­tures toward sex­u­al abuse and harass­ment by:

  • equip­ping agen­cies and staff with the knowl­edge and skills to pre­vent and detect problems;
  • min­i­miz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for victimization;
  • cre­at­ing effec­tive report­ing channels;
  • coor­di­nat­ing respons­es to alleged mis­con­duct; and
  • mon­i­tor­ing efforts to reduce victimization.

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