Webinar Archives

The National PREA Standards: Confidentiality, Ethics and the Law

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and the impact of professional ethical obligations and confidentiality laws for sexual assault victims in custodial settings. During the webinar, Professor Smith and Melissa Loomis will: (1) briefly review the national PREA Standards applicable to medical and mental health care, reporting, screening, and investigations; (2) discuss relevant ethical obligations held by medical and mental health providers in the correctional context; (3) discuss relevant legal standards in maintaining or breaking confidentiality for victims of sexual abuse in the custodial setting; (4) identify strategies that can be helpful in developing MOUs with medical and mental health care providers in the correctional context; and (5) identify steps agencies can take to address the intersection of the standards, confidentiality, ethics, and the law.

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Faculty Bios: Prof. Brenda V. Smith and Melissa C. Loomis, Esq.

The National PREA Standards: Implications for Human Resource Practices in Correctional Settings (May 2013)

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and the implications for human resource practices. During the webinar, Prof. Smith and Prof. Carle will: (1) review the national PREA Standards applicable to human resources issues; (2) discuss relevant human resource policies that can help agencies address PREA, such as employee reference waivers and anti-fraternization policies; (3) identify strategies that can be helpful in gaining union buy-in; and (4) identify steps agencies can take to address potential liability because of hiring and promotion practices.

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Faculty Bios: Prof. Susan Carle and Prof. Brenda V. Smith

Responding to Sexual Abuse of Youth in Custody: Addressing the Needs of Boys, Girls and Gender Non-Conforming Youth

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and addressing the needs of boys, girls and gender non-conforming youth in custody. During the webinar, Professor Smith will: (1) review the applicable PREA Standards for responding to sexual abuse in custody and their gender impact; (2) review the dynamics of custodial sexual abuse for boys, girls and gender non-conforming youth; (3) identify the components of institutional culture and their impact on sexual abuse of youth; and (4) discuss immediate and long-term medical and mental health care needs of youthful victims of sexual abuse.

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Responding to Sexual Abuse of Inmates in Custody: Addressing the Needs of Men, Women and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and addressing the needs of men, women and gender non-conforming populations. During the webinar, Professor Smith will: (1) review the applicable PREA Standards for responding to sexual abuse in custody and their gender impact; (2) review the dynamics of custodial sexual abuse for men, women and gender non-conforming populations; (3) identify the components of institutional culture and their impact on sexual abuse of inmates; and (4) discuss immediate and long-term medical and mental health care needs of inmate victims of sexual abuse

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PREA Standards and Policy Development Guidelines for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals in Custody

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and general policies agencies need to have in place to ensure the safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBT) individuals in custodial settings.  During the webinar, Prof. Smith and Ms. Brisbin will: (1) review the evolving terms and definitions staff need to understand; (2) identify the specific risks for LGBT individuals in custody; (3) discuss the national PREA Standards applicable to LGBT offenders; (4) discuss important elements of the law as it relates to safety, security and needs of LGBTI offenders; and lastly (5) identify elements of legally sound and effective policy and practice.

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Smith, Brenda V. et. al. Policy Review and Development Guide: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons in Custodial Settings

PREA Standards and Policy Development Guidelines for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Custody

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and general policies juvenile agencies need to have in place to ensure the safety and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in custodial settings.  During the webinar, Prof. Smith will: (1) review the evolving terms and definitions staff need to understand; (2) identify the specific risks for LGBT youth in custody; (3) discuss the national PREA Standards applicable to LGBT youth; (4) discuss important elements of the law as it relates to safety, security and needs of LGBT youth; and lastly (5) identify elements of legally sound and effective policy and practice.

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Smith, Brenda V. et. al. Policy Review and Development Guide: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Persons in Custodial Settings
Child Welfare League of America: Sexual Orientation/Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth Issues

The National PREA Standards: Implications for Human Resource Practices in Correctional Settings (October 2012)

This webinar focuses on the national PREA Standards and the implications for human resource practices. During the webinar, Prof. Smith will: (1) review the national PREA Standards applicable to human resources issues; (2) discuss relevant human resource policies that can help agencies address PREA, such as employee reference waivers and anti-fraternization policies; (3) identify strategies that can be helpful in gaining union buy-in; and (4) identify steps agencies can take to address potential liability because of hiring and promotion practices.

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Faculty Bio

Legal Liability for Sexual Abuse of Individuals Under Custodial Supervision

This webinar focuses on the liability of agencies, staff and others for sexual abuse of people in custody. During the webinar, Prof. Smith will: (1) review the legal issues involved in legal liability including the national PREA Standards and applicable state and federal law inmates and residents from sexual abuse; (2) illustrate legal liability in different settings and scenarios using case law decisions; (3) discuss different elements of liability for municipalities, officials, individuals and staff; and (4) identify steps agencies can take to address potential liability.

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PREA 101 Webinar Series

The PREA 101 Webinar Series focuses on the U.S Department of Justice’s National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape, released on May 17, 2012. Each webinar will provide a presentation on standards readiness and blueprints for moving forward in the various correctional settings including adult prisons, jails and lock-ups, community corrections and juvenile agencies. The goal of the series is to: (1) assist agencies in triaging their response to the standards; (2) share information and resources; and (3) answer questions.

PREA 101 Webinar for Adult Prisons (Wednesday July 18, 2012 12-1:30pm EST)
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PREA 101 Webinar for Jails and Lockups (Wednesday July 18, 2012 2-3:30pm EST)
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PREA 101 Webinar for Community Corrections (Tuesday June 26, 2012 12-1:30pm EST)
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PREA 101 Webinar for Juvenile Agencies (Tuesday June 26, 2012 2-3:30pm EST)
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Webchat Archives

Fundng PREA Reforms in Correctional Settings - The Project on Addressing Prison Rape - February 2009
Over the past ten years, we have worked to identify, address and respond to sexual violence in institutional settings – both staff-on-inmate and inmate- on-inmate. However, with the PREA Standards nearly completed and funding winding down for PREA mandated projects, we think it is important to discuss how we move forward to meet the needs of the field of corrections. In this web chat, we discussed the following subjects:

  • What have you done to identify, address and respond to sexual violence?
  • How have those actions helped you to identify, address and respond to sexual violence?
  • What do you need moving forward to continue to identify, address and respond to sexual violence effectively?

For more information email endsilence@wcl.american.edu

Legal Tools for Responding to Sexual Abuse in Custody - The Project on Addressing Prison Rape - October 2008
Over the past ten years, we have worked to identify and develop legal tools for addressing sexual violence in institutional settings – both staff-on-inmate and inmate- on-inmate. Those tools aim to not only sanction sexual violence in custody, but to increase reporting of sexual violence by staff and to provide information about past sexually abusive behavior toward inmates. In identifying tools, we have examined laws in each state on: staff sexual misconduct; sexual assault (including sodomy); vulnerable persons; statutory rape; mandatory reporting; sex offender registration; and assault and battery. In this web chat, we responded to questions that many have asked over the years including:

  • What are the legal tools for punishing staff for sexual abuse of offenders?
  • Are there particular statutes that could help to address staff failure to report misconduct and abuse?
  • Are correctional staff mandatory reporters of sexual violence against adults?
  • Are inmates considered vulnerable persons?
  • What are agency obligations for juveniles? For juveniles in adult settings?

For more information email endsilence@wcl.american.edu

Special Concerns of Juvenile Justice Professionals - The Project on Addressing Prison Rape - March 2008
On June 1, 2006 The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission held a public hearing focusing on issues concerning juvenile populations. Testimony from that hearing brought to light questions regarding the implications of PREA for juvenile justice agencies. The hearing raised many issues including: policies preventing youth on youth sexual contact; training on “normal” adolescent development; medical and mental health care; and management and operational practice standards that will work in the various agencies housing or supervising youth. The chat will explore these issues and discuss policy and other challenges in implementing PREA for juvenile justice agencies.

For more information email endsilence@wcl.american.edu

Cross Gender Supervision - The Project on Addressing Prison Rape - November 2007
Two recent cases, Heckenlaible v. Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Authority, 2007 WL 1732385 (E.D.Va.) and Cash v. County of Erie, 2007 WL 2027844 (W.D. N.Y. July 11, 2007) have reinforced the need to revisit the issue of cross gender supervision in correctional settings. While Title VII requires for equal job opportunities for both men and women, courts have acknowledged that in some instances gender can be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) in certain positions in correctional facilities – particularly those where men may supervise women inmates. The chat will explore these issues; discuss the availability of BFOQ positions in correctional facilities; and discuss policy and other challenges in implementing same gender supervision.

For more information email endsilence@wcl.american.edu

Sexual Victimization in Prisons: Moving Toward Elimination - Harvard Law School
According to a report released in December of 2007 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 60,500 state and federal prisoners reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization within the year. Nationwide, 2.1 percent of inmates reported an incident involving another inmate, and 2.9 percent reported an incident involving facility staff members. The results come from research mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which establishes a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of rape in U.S. prisons. Previously only a few, small research studies investigated sexual violence in correctional institutions. Further, as the rate of women's imprisonment has increased over the past 20 years, so has the interest in women's prison research - the studies conducted highlight a culture of sex and adverse effects of victimization that are unique to female correctional settings, and must be considered. This expert chat, sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School's Government Innovators Network and the National Institute of Justice, featured a panel of experts who discussed the state of PREA research - what data is available and what's yet to come - and examined how we will move from better understanding to reliable prevention and eventual elimination. Ample time was allocated for audience Q&A. For more information on this webchat click here.