What is PREA?
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to "provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, and recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape." (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003). In addition to creating a mandate for significant research from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and through the National Institute of Justice, funding through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Corrections supported major efforts in many state correctional, juvenile detention, community corrections, and jail systems.
PREA and Forest Ridge Youth Services
Forest Ridge has a zero-tolerance policy relating to the sexual abuse or sexual harassment of a student and will cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of anyone involved in the sexual abuse, assault, or sexual harassment of a student at this facility. The primary responsibility of Forest Ridge employees is student safety.
Forest Ridge Youth Services investigates each incident of alleged or reported sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment to the fullest extent possible in cooperation with the State. Forest Ridge also prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a report of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment.
Sequel Youth and Family Services designates a PREA Compliance Officer at each facility with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement, and oversee agency efforts to comply with the PREA standards. Sequel also has a PREA Coordinator company wide.
FOREST RIDGE YOUTH SERVICES AUDIT FINDINGS January, 2016
How to report
Family, friends and community advocates can report allegations of sexual abuse, sexual harassment and retaliation by contacting:
Forest Ridge PREA Coordinator, PO Box 515, Estherville IA 51334
Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline: 1-800-284-7821 or Iowa Department of Human Services: 1-800-362-2178
A parent or legal guardian of a student shall be allowed to file a grievance regarding allegations of sexual abuse, including appeals, on behalf of their student. Such a grievance shall not be conditioned upon the student agreeing to have the request filed on her behalf.
All criminal investigations will be handled by the Iowa Department of Human Services – Department of Inspections and Appeals and by Emmet County Law Enforcement.