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State of Ohio PREA Compliance Reallocation

Award Information

Awardee
Award #
2014-JF-FX-0142
Location
Congressional District
Status
Closed
Funding First Awarded
2014
Total funding (to date)
$70,969

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $26,413)

Using OJJDP funds, the State of Ohios Department of Youth Service (DYS) will undertake all activities necessary to ensure the state is in compliance with the PREA National Standards. To achieve and maintain full compliance, DYS intends to use reallocated funding to prevent occurrences of sexual offenses and behaviors in state run and state funded facilities. This will be achieved by conducting additional reviews of existing policies, procedures, and facility protocol, though the use of additional technology, through education and training, through culture assessment follow-up, and with staffing support.

NCA/NCF

Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties. Congress intended that PREA would provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.

The State of Ohio’s Department of Youth Service (DYS) will undertake activities related to maintaining PREA compliance in facilities, where youth are committed, in an effort to further increase the level and safety and eliminate the risk of sexual offending. To achieve this goal, DYS has conducted multiple assessments, within its facilities, to identify areas where there is potential risk. As a result, DYS will use its PREA reallocation funding to further enhance safety in areas of concern and training.

A primary area of concern is in youth restrooms where youth have very little personal privacy when using the restroom. Given the current structure, youth risk being exposed to cross-gender facility staff and other youth with limited access of covering themselves against exposure which can lead to unwanted and negative attention. To alleviate this concern, DYS will purchase portable privacy screens for use in bathrooms and/ or areas where youth relieve themselves. The screens with allow staff to monitor the activities of youth but not to see their bodies.

PREA education has been mandated for DYS personnel and is administered at least annually, and as needed when developments in PREA compliance occur. DYS will continue to provide pre-service and in-service training to staff which defines appropriate staff/youth interactions, identifies and explains protocols, and that sets overall expectations related to PREA compliance. DYS will use a portion of funding to continue staff training.

Funding will also be used to implement training for youth in facilities. During year one of PREA reallocation funding, DYS began identifying appropriate ways to educate youth about the requirement of PREA and behaviors that may violate the Act. DYS will implement training to youth in the coming year and explore opportunities to make it part of the orientation process as new youth enter the facilities.

For the last several years, DYS has worked to be PREA compliant and to ensure that youth are in the safest possible institutional setting. A full-time PREA coordinator is charged with providing education and training as well as coordinating the many activities and staff involved with PREA compliance

NCA/NCF

Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties. Congress intended that PREA would provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape. The grantee plans to support PREA programming in youth facilities. Ohio will use their PREA reallocation funds to purchase and install a visitor management system at 3 juvenile facilities.
NCA/NCF

Date Created: September 21, 2014