PREA

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is a federal law established to support the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in correctional systems. PREA addresses both inmate-to-inmate sexual assault and staff-to-inmate sexual assault. The Riverside Regional Jail fully supports the guidelines set forth in this law and has ZERO-TOLERANCE for any and all incidents of sexual assault and sexual misconduct in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003.

The Riverside Regional Jail implements its “Zero-Tolerance” policies through a facility-wide systematic process that begins when inmates are initially admitted into the facility. When inmates enter our intake area they are met with a comprehensive educational process where their rights to be free from sexual abuse and harassment is explained in detail to them. From there an assessment is conducted on every inmate to determine their individual risk of victimization or predation using an objective measurement tool based on specific risk factors. This tool is utilized to make an individualized determination of housing and program assignments for each inmate.

Throughout the facility, inmates are exposed to education concerning reporting options through the use of the inmate handbook on kiosks in every inmate living area. In addition to this there are posters, pamphlets, and monthly inmate newsletters with information in regards to sexual abuse prevention and information concerning victim advocacy.

Inmates at the facility are housed in living units called housing pods. Each housing pod is grouped together in a pentagonal arrangement to create direct observation of all inmate corridors so as to minimize blind-spots. Video monitoring is utilized throughout the jail facility to enhance security and surveillance. The number and location of video cameras is reviewed no less frequently than every year by the Superintendent in conjunction with the facility PREA Coordinator to assess if the level of monitoring is adequate to protect the inmate population from sexual abuse and to ensure the safety of all staff and inmates.

When it comes to sexual activity within the jail facility, Riverside Regional Jail policies and procedures are clear; ALL SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS PROHIBITED. Beyond those rules, forced or coerced sexual behavior is a criminal act that merits criminal prosecution. All substantiated incidents are reported to the local police and an investigation is conducted to ensure the perpetrator faces the full consequences of the law. The Riverside Regional Jail has an agreement with the Prince George County Police Department to ensure that all incidents of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated and referred for prosecution to the Prince George County Commonwealth Attorney.

In accordance with PREA, all investigations are assigned one of three possible determinations:

Substantiated – an allegation which was investigated and determined to have occurred
Unfounded – an allegation which was investigated and determined not to have occurred
Unsubstantiated – an allegation which produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination of a substantiated or unfounded claim

In the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016, there were 2 substantiated allegations, and 6 unsubstantiated allegations of sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment. The chart below provides a comparison between fiscal years 2016, 2015 and 2014.

2017 PREA Graph

The 2 substantiated allegations of sexual harassment involved inmate on inmate conduct. The first allegation occurred outside of the inmate housing unit area where the subject inmate made sexual gestures towards the complainant inmate. The second allegation occurred inside the inmate housing area where the subject inmate made sexual advances toward the complainant inmate. Through a complete and thorough investigation by the Office of Professional Review the allegations were substantiated. At the time the allegations were reported to staff, the accused inmates were relocated immediately, added to the complainant’s keep separate list and alerts were added by Classification to the SVA (Sexual Victimization Assessment) and the SPA (Sexual Predation Assessment). If warranted a review of the inmate’s classification level was conducted.

The 6 unsubstantiated allegations of sexual abuse involved inmate on inmate conduct. All incidents were investigated promptly, thoroughly, and objectively; the investigations did not produce evidence sufficient to make any type of definitive judgment.

In accordance with Prison Rape Elimination Act Standard § 115.86, members of the facility’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) conducted sexual abuse incident reviews at the conclusion of investigations to consider whether specific facts arising in investigations necessitate a change in facility policy or practice. Other factors discussed include whether allegations or incidents were motivated by some form of bias, if there was sufficient staffing present to prevent abuse, or if there needs to be additional video monitoring deployed in the area.

In the 2 substantiated incidents, the assembled SART members recommended continued monitoring of the alleged victim, ensuring that the inmate received mental health assessments. One of the complainants was released from custody before the review was completed. Additionally, information from one of the allegations was forwarded to the Department of Corrections upon the inmate’s transfer. Neither of the substantiated incidents resulted in the SART members making a recommendation for a change in policy or practice, training, staffing or video monitoring.

If you feel that your family member or friend has been the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of another inmate or if you have information concerning suspected incidents of employee sexual misconduct involving Riverside Regional Jail personnel, please utlize the reporting form located here.

Riverside Regional Jail PREA Definitions

§115.6 Definitions related to Sexual Abuse

Substantiated Allegation

An allegation that was investigated and determined to have occurred.

Unsubstantiated Allegation

An allegation that was investigated and the investigation produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination as to whether or not the event occurred.

Unfounded Allegation

An allegation that was investigated and determined not to have occurred.

Sexual Abuse (inmate perpetrator)

Includes the:
(1) Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by another inmate, detainee, or resident; and
(2) Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer.
Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by another inmate, detainee, or resident includes any of the following acts, if the victim does not consent, is coerced into such act by overt or implied threats of violence, or is unable to consent or refuse:
(1) Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight;
(2) Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus;
(3) Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument; and
(4) Any other intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks of another person, excluding contact incidental to a physical altercation.

Sexual Abuse (staff perpetrator)

Includes the:
Sexual abuse of an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer includes any of the following acts, with or without consent of the inmate, detainee, or resident:
(1) Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight;
(2) Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus;
(3) Contact between the mouth and any body part where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;
(4) Penetration of the anal or genital opening, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument, that is unrelated to official duties or where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;
(5) Any other intentional contact, either directly or through the clothing, of or with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks, that is unrelated to official duties or where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire;
(6) Any attempt, threat, or request by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer to engage in the activities described in paragraphs (1)-(5) of this section;
(7) Any display by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer of his or her uncovered genitalia, buttocks, or breast in the presence of an inmate, detainee, or resident, and
(8) Voyeurism by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer. Includes the invasion of privacy of an inmate, detainee, or resident by staff for reasons unrelated to official duties, such as peering at an inmate who is using a toilet in his or her cell to perform bodily functions; requiring an inmate to expose his or her buttocks, genitals, or breasts; or taking images of all or part of an inmate’s naked body or of an inmate performing bodily functions.

Sexual Harassment

The repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one inmate, detainee, or resident directed toward another; or
The repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate, detainee, or resident by a staff member, contractor, or volunteer, including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene language or gestures.