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Sexual Assault in Jail and Juvenile Facilities: Promising Practices for Prevention and Response, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2010
365 pages

Findings are presented from a descriptive study of promising practices for preventing and responding to inmate-on-inmate sexual assault in jails and resident-on-resident sexual assault in juvenile correctional facilities.


Eleven effective practices are described in detail in the report. First, lower rates of sexual assault occur in facilities with leaders who promote values that advance safety, dignity, and respect for inmates/residents and staff. Second, these facilities have officials who seek better ways to manage the inmate/resident populations and who integrate knowledge and ideas from a wide variety of sources, including staff professional associations, accreditation processes, and other agencies and facilities. Third, such facilities have open communication between managers and correctional staff, as well as between correctional staff and inmates/residents. Fourth, these facilities recruit and hire diverse individuals characterized by respect toward others and effective communication skills, as well as mentoring and succession planning. Fifth, such facilities have standardized and on-going staff training that includes attention to values, policies, and practices that are conducive to appropriate interactions among inmates/residents and between inmates and staff. Sixth, these facilities direct-supervision architecture and direct supervision principles that facilitate effective management of inmates/residents. Seventh, they have programs and services that productively occupy inmates'/residents' time; meet the needs of adult inmates and juvenile residents; and improve the life outcomes of those who are incarcerated. Eighth, these facilities use an objective classification system that promotes safety for inmates and staff. Ninth, they have a comprehensive and independent investigation process that emphasizes appropriate staff training, responding immediately to all reports of sexual assault, investigating all sexual assault allegations, responding sensitively to victims, and prosecuting criminal behavior when appropriate. Tenth, model facilities have a system of data collection, analysis, and incident tracking that facilitate effective decisionmaking. Eleventh, facility managers learn from litigation, detect and correct mistakes, and ensure transparent operation. Appended literature review

Date Published: June 1, 2010