Addressing Staff Sexual Misconduct with Offenders

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

Association of State Correctional Administrators
Resolution Adopted on January 17, 1999

WHEREAS, correctional agencies have a responsibility to contribute to the public safety by exercising reasonable, safe, secure, and humane control of offenders committed to their custody;

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

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

WHEREAS, correctional administrators should aggressively promote equal opportunity for all persons pursing employment and advancement in the profession of corrections;

WHEREAS, on January 1, 1998 35,793 female correctional officers were assigned to supervise male inmates and 4,427 male correctional officers were assigned to supervise female inmates;

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

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of State Correctional Administrators strongly encourages each of its members agencies to adopt and vigorously enforce specific policies prohibiting all forms of sexual harassment, activity, or abuse between correctional employees and offenders. These policies should: be in writing; clearly define unacceptable behavior; provide for a fair and timely investigative and grievance process; provide for criminal prosecution; and be widely communicated and emphasized to all staff through training and other appropriate methods.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association of Correctional Administrators supports enactment of state legislation establishing criminal penalties for sexual activity involving correctional staff and offenders, and further supports aggressive prosecution of correctional staff who violate these laws.

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