May 25 , 2017
The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) is pleased to announce the facility is the first juvenile facility in Illinois to be certified as being compliant with the standards of the Federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). PREA was passed in 2003, 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 June 2016, the JDC underwent an audit conducted by a Department of Justice Certified Auditor. In addition to pre-audit documentation, the auditor spent four days at the facility observing the physical environment, reviewing documentation, and interviewing staff and residents. The JDC was found to be in compliance with 31 standards and exceeded the requirements for six of those standards.
The certified auditor submitted the final audit report to the Department of Justice on January 7, 2017. The auditor wrote, “The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center, the Court, and County are obviously committed to implementing and maintaining a zero tolerance threshold regarding sexual abuse and sexual harassment within the facility and they are to be commended for their commitment to providing a safe environment for youth. The Superintendent, PREA Coordinator, and the staff are totally committed to implementing all requirements of PREA to ensure the sexual safety of residents. The PREA Coordinator did an exceptional job of preparing for the audit and ensured that all policies and procedures, as well as secondary documentation, were available for the auditor. The auditor was impressed with the level of awareness of PREA by residents and staff during the interview process and it was apparent that ample training and education are provided to both groups.”
The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center Superintendent, Brian Brown, attributes the successful audit to the management and staff members who embraced the goals and concepts of PREA and the Center for Prevention of Abuse for their commitment to providing advocates and support services to all residents. Brown said, "Our employees worked diligently to implement the standards and facilitate the operational changes needed to become PREA compliant. This was truly a team effort and I want to thank everyone for their support and dedication to maintain the highest level of service for the juveniles in our care."
The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center is proud of this achievement and looks forward to continued success in the future. For more information on this accreditation, please call Brian Brown, Juvenile Detention Center Superintendent, at (309) 634-4200.