With Vera’s assistance, the Johnson County Department of Corrections developed a strong partnership with the Johnson County SART, created sexual assault response policies that are coordinated and victim-centered, and trained its staff on sexual assault issues and the facility’s response. The following list summarizes these accomplishments and others:
- The DOC explored how a partnership with the county SART and a SART approach could be useful in implementing PREA standards related to response to sexual assault of ARC and JDC residents.
- The agency linked with the SART by becoming a member and creating partnerships with SART agencies.
- The ARC and JDC incorporated a SART approach in their respective facility sexual assault response policies based on the PREA standards, the National Protocol, and the Corrections SAFE Guide.
- The DOC identified a central hospital for sexual-assault medical forensic examinations of residents disclosing sexual assault and a single law enforcement agency to conduct criminal investigations in these cases.
- The DOC sought help from the local rape crisis center in assessing whether facility policies were victim-centered and ensuring that residents had ready access to advocate support.
- Each facility created response checklists and flowcharts that clarified tasks and responsibilities of facility staff.
- The DOC created flowcharts for residents and revised their educational materials.
- With the SART, DOC administrators trained facility staff on issues of sexual assault in correctional settings and facility response policies.
- As recommended by the Corrections SAFE Guide, the DOC created and filled the position of internal victim resource specialist by adding this role to an existing staff person’s duties.
- The DOC shared the facilities’ new policies with the SART.
- DOC leaders provided facility tours to SART agencies to help their staff become familiar with the correctional environment, needs of residents, and various responder roles.
In the process of accomplishing these tasks, the Johnson County DOC made significant progress in implementing the PREA standards. Though Vera provided assistance to the DOC for this project, other correctional facilities can achieve success in similar efforts without a technical assistance provider by using the planning tool in Section 2, which embodies the lessons learned in Johnson County, as described in Section 3 of this guide.