The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), a federal law enacted in 2003, was created to eliminate sexual abuse in confinement. In addition to providing federal funding for research, programs, training, and technical assistance to address the issue, the legislation mandated the development of national standards. The final standards became effective on June 20, 2012, when they were published by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Federal Register. More recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released final standards for DHS confinement facilities, effective May 6, 2014.
The full text of the standards can be found at the National PREA Resource Center.
Zero Tolerance Policy
In compliance with Section 115.11 of the PREA regulation, the Youth Development Center has established a Zero Tolerance Policy against all forms of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment. The Youth Development Center has outlined a plan to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to all allegations of conduct that falls into either category.
Staff and Resident Training and Education
The staff at the Youth Development Center complete PREA training annually as a part of our commitment to eliminating sexual abuse and sexual harassment in our facility.
All residents receive an initial PREA training upon admittance to the facility and receive ongoing education and monthly reviews. This training has a particular focus on YDC's Zero Tolerance Policy, the right to be free from Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse, directions on how to report allegations of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment, and their right to be free from retaliation for reporting incidents.
Reporting Allegations of Sexual Abuse/Sexual Harassment
Anyone can report an allegation or suspected incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment, including inmates, staff, or third parties. This can include allegations that may have occurred at another juvenile facility. At the Youth Development Center, there are multiple options to file a report; including, but not limited to:
- Contact the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of York Victim Assistance at 800-422-3204
- Send a letter to the Director of the facility at the address provided on our facility profiles
- Residents may notify any staff member either verbally or in writing or they may call the PREA hotline numbers posted at their facilities
- Staff may report allegations via their chain of command or anonymously
It is not required that any personal information be provided. However, the more information that can be provided regarding dates, times, locations, witnesses, and as much detail about the alleged incident as is known serves to assist staff and law enforcement in their efforts to successfully conduct the investigations.
All allegations of sexual conduct shall be promptly, thoroughly, and objectively investigated. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, each allegation will be classified as Substantiated, Unsubstantiated, or Unfounded. Allegations of Sexual Abuse will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation and potential prosecution. All substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment will result in the appropriate disciplinary actions taken against the Employee, Contractor, Volunteer, or Inmate, and where appropriate referral for prosecution.
Criminal allegations are referred via agreement to the York County District Attorney's Office for investigation.
Questions, inquiries, or requests for PREA policies can be forwarded to:
Kevin Shepheard, Assistant Director - PREA Coordinator
York County Youth Development Center
3564 Heindel Road
York, PA 17402