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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