UPDATE: Idaho Juvenile Facility First to be Certified PREA Compliant

UPDATE: March 11, 2014
The Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center (SIJDC) in Caldwell, Idaho became the first detention facility of any sort to be certified as compliant with the standards of the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The facility houses 90 youth. PREA was enacted by Congress 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 Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute for Justice were mandated to conduct research on the issue and the Bureau of Justice Assistance along with the National Institute of Corrections were tasked with supporting efforts in the state, juvenile, community and jail systems.

The latest data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows 70,792 juveniles in detention as of 2010. According to the National Institute for Justice there is no consensus among researchers about the incidence of sexual assault in U.S. facilities. The most recent BJS report, from 2012, indicated that nearly 10 percent of adjudicated juveniles reported being a victim to sexual assault.

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission was charged with creating standards to implement the law.

In Prison, A Boy’s Horrible Life

Rape is not sex. No matter how superficially similar the acts might seem, they are fundamentally different. Most reasonable people would agree, and in our society rape is considered a crime. There is one place where things are different though: prison. Somehow, at least to many people, rapes that take place in that context are somehow different.

Policy Experts Address the Challenges Facing LGBT Youth in Lockup

OJJDP Webinar examines difficulties in providing adequate services to detained LGBT populations
“Why are we focused on LGBTQI youth all of a sudden?” said Mykel Selph, director of the Office of Girls & Gender at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) in Illinois. The DePaul University adjunct professor answered her own inquiry by bringing up findings from a 2010 report that estimates that approximately 15 percent of incarcerated youth self-identify as LGBT and/or gender nonconforming. According to Selph, that means that as many as 40 juveniles in Cook County’s JTDC right now are part of a detained population she believes are often “largely invisible” in the eyes of most policymakers. Selph was one of three speakers presenting information at Tuesday’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Webinar, titled Understanding the Importance of Implementing an Effective Justice System Response for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) Youth in Custody. The presentation, hosted by the National Training & Technical Assistance Center, is the third Webinar in the “Understanding and Overcoming the Challenges Faced by LGBTQI Youth” series.