ACA policies and resolutions.

Position:2005 Winter Conference Phoenix - American Correctional Association
 
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Editor's Note: The following policies, previously printed in Corrections Today for member comment, were unanimously ratified by the ACA Delegate Assembly at the Winter Conference in Phoenix on Jan. 12, 2005.

Policy on Offender-on-Offender Sexual Assault

Introduction:

Sexual assaults against individuals confined in correctional facilities or on community supervision are wrong.

All offenders, especially adults and juveniles diagnosed with mental illnesses and young, first-time offenders, are at an increased risk of sexual victimization. Victims of sexual assault may suffer severe physical and psychological effects that hinder their successful reintegration into their communities.

Policy Statement:

Corrections professionals have a responsibility to those they serve to provide a safe environment within which offenders are supervised. Offender-on-offender sexual assault is inhumane and can contribute to the spread of infectious diseases within correctional facilities and to the community upon release.

ACA recommends the following strategies to correctional agencies:

  1. Establish, publicize and enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding all forms of sexual assault;

  2. Develop classification and supervision policies and procedures within detention and correctional facilities that minimize the potential for sexual assault to occur and develop policies that serve to protect the victim and prevent repeat occurrences;

  3. Establish investigative policies and procedures that include the processes for reporting and investigating allegations involving sexual assault, including appropriate measures to protect the complainant during an investigation;

  4. Establish mental health and medical protocols for treating the complainant, including initial screening and appropriate follow-up treatment;

  5. Foster an environment in which the reporting of alleged sexual assault is encouraged and reports may be made without fear of reprisal;

  6. Establish relationships and protocols with outside law enforcement and health care agencies to facilitate the prosecution of assailants and reporting of all instances of sexual assault to the proper authorities for investigation and possible criminal action;

  7. Maintain adequate and appropriate levels of staff to protect inmates against sexual assault;

  8. Develop effective correctional strategies, such as meaningful programs that provide constructive activities, and increase staff and inmate safety;

    I. Promote effective facility design that enables direct lines of sight within housing units;

  9. Provide orientation and ongoing in-service training to staff, volunteers and contractors, emphasizing the zero-tolerance policy, explaining state law, case law and administrative policies on the issue, and providing the skills needed to effectively manage offenders;

  10. Provide information to offenders, inmates and detainees on how to avoid sexual assault; and

    L. Establish a systematic process for the collection of data that document the number of sexual assault allegations, the nature of each allegation and the resolution of the allegation.

    Public Correctional Policy on Racial Disparity in Correctional Systems And Programs

    Introduction:

    Persons of color are overrepresented in the justice systems of the United States compared with their proportion within the general population. This disparity contributes to the perception of injustice and unfairness in the justice system. It also underscores the need to assess, determine, recommend and implement corrective actions that contribute to a just and fairer justice system whenever possible.

    Policy Statement:

    Correctional agencies do not control the number of persons of color who enter their jurisdictions, but have a responsibility to collaborate with other components of the justice system and nonjustice organizations such as victims organizations and community-based service providers and organizations to develop systemic solutions to the disparity.

    ACA recommends that correctional agencies should:

  11. Support the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Disproportionate Minority Confinement Initiative that encourages states to identify the problem, assess the reasons for the problem and develop mitigating strategies;

  12. Work with the judiciary, probation, detention intake and other governmental agencies to develop objective screening tools for use in detention decisions to minimize disparity in the confinement of youths and adults of color;

  13. Collaborate with the judiciary, other governmental agencies and community organizations in the development of prevention and early intervention programs to strengthen the protective factors that reduce juvenile and adult crime;

  14. Develop and expand culturally responsive programming that addresses the needs of people of color;

  15. Collect and maintain statistics on racial disparity in juvenile and adult case processing, in admissions to correctional facilities and in...

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