Florida Immigration Attorneys

DHS to set standards to handle sexual abuse and assault in facilities

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse to detainees.

DHS detention facilities will be the focus to eliminate sexual abuse behind bars which detain individuals for civil immigration purposes. DHS immigration detention and holding facilities intend to have a culture that promotes safety and not tolerate abuse. DHS is looking to implement a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse in the detention facilities. DHS's new standards will apply that policy across all DHS detention environs with active oversight to ensure proper implementation.

The proposed standards follow on to the President's May 17, 2012 directive, "Implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act," calling on all agencies with Federal confinement facilities to work with the Attorney General to set standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in confinement facilities.

DHS has eleven categories encompassed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission (NPREC) these are:

  1. prevent;

  2. respond;

  3. train and educate;

  4. assess risk;

  5. report;

  6. official reply;

  7. investigate;

  8. punish;

  9. mental and physical treatment;

  10. collect and review data;

  11. audits and compliance.

DHS has two distinct types of DHS detention units:

  1. immigration detention facilities for the longer-term detention of individuals; and,

  2. holding facilities for short temporary custody.