Investigating Allegations of Staff Sexual Misconduct with Offenders

National Institute of Corrections
American University Washington College of Law
March 12-17, 2006

National Sheriff's Association

Development of Policies on Standards of Conduct
for Jail and Local Correctional Facility Staff

WHEREAS, jails, local detention facilities, and correctional agencies have a responsibility to contribute to the public safety by ensuring secure and humane control of offenders committed to their custody; and

WHEREAS, the nature of custodial supervision requires that correctional staff adhere to professional standards of conduct which clearly define the use and exercise of authority and which emphatically reject all conduct exceeding those bounds; and

WHEREAS, any sexual harassment, activity, or abuse occurring between correctional staff and offenders is inappropriate and unacceptable conduct and a fundamental violation that shall not be tolerated by correctional administrators or the public; and

WHEREAS, correctional and jail administrators have a responsibility to provide leadership, to pursue legislation, and to develop policies and procedures to ensure correctional staff perform their duties within professionally accepted standards of conduct; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Sheriffs' Association strongly encourages each Office of Sheriff to vigorously enforce explicit policies prohibiting all forms of sexual harassment, activity, or abuse between jail and correctional employees and offenders. These policies and procedures should be in writing, clearly define unacceptable conduct, provide for fair and timely investigative and grievance processes, provide for criminal prosecution, and be widely communicated and emphasized to all staff through adequate training and other appropriate methods; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Sheriffs' Association supports enactments by state legislatures that establish criminal penalties for sexual harassment or abuse involving correctional staff and offenders, and further supports aggressive prosecution by the local District Attorney of correctional staff who violate these laws.

Reported by Detention and Corrrections Committee
Adopted by the National Sheriffs' Association
June 25, 2002 in Tulsa, Okalahoma

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