Audits Declare Department of Corrections Facilities in Compliance with Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act
(Concord, NH) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn announced that audits completed at all of its correctional facilities, transitional facilities and its mental health treatment facility showed them to be in compliance of the standards for the U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
PREA was passed by Congress in 2003. Its purpose is to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.”
The law requires that one third of every state’s Correctional facilities must be audited for standards every three years using resources from the US Department of Justice. The audit includes a review all relevant agency-wide policies, procedures, reports, internal and external audits, and accreditations for each facility type. The auditors must be given access to the selected facilities to observe all areas of operations.
Commissioner Wrenn said, “The audits were thorough and required regular interaction between our staff and the auditors. We cooperated fully with the auditors and implemented policy changes as instructed.”
Commissioner Wrenn said, “We worked hard to be compliant with PREA standards and the positive outcome is a tribute to the employees assigned to these facilities.”
Prior to the release of federal PREA standards in 2012, the Department had already begun working to ensure compliance in all areas and prepare its facilities for audit. The audits consisted of the review of these national standards through an examination of Department protocols, practices, policies and procedures, detailed inspection of facilities, and interviewing the staff assigned to these facilities.
The Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin, the Correctional Transitional Work Center in Concord, and the Calumet Transitional Housing Unit in Manchester were audited in 2014.
The New Hampshire State Prison for Men, the Secure Psychiatric Unit/Residential Treatment Unit, the Correctional Transitional Work Center, and North End Transitional Housing Units in Concord were audited in 2015.
The New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women in Goffstown and the Shea Farm Transitional Housing Unit in Concord were audited in 2016.
The complete audit reports can be found on the Department of Corrections website on this page: www.nh.gov/nhdoc/divisions/victim/prea.html.