The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) mandates a ZERO TOLERANCE toward all forms of sexual abuse and harassment.
It is the policy of the Department of Youth Services to comply with the requirements of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (“PREA”) to protect its youth from all forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. In accordance with PREA, DYS seeks to prevent, detect, and respond to allegations of such conduct. All allegations of sexual boundary violations, sexual abuse, sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting such conduct against youth by employees shall be considered a serious incident, investigated and may subject employees to appropriate discipline in accordance with these procedures.
Federal legislation passed in 2012 which requires states to come into compliance with a comprehensive set of standards focused on safety from sexual assault for all people confined in correctional settings. This legislation includes youth confined in both staff secure and hardware secure residential programs. In 2014, DYS completed its first round of PREA audits and achieved the highest rating of “compliance” in all programs reviewed. The 2014 PREA audit was the first of a three series process where 1/3 of our programs will be audited each year from now through August 2016.
The Department of Youth Services completed its second round of PREA audits July 2015. In 2016, the Department of Youth Services completed its third round of PREA audits.
The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services is proud to share that the final Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) audit reports were completed in July 2016, and findings by a certified PREA Auditor, who also serves a Correctional Consultant for the US Department of Justice, are available on this webpage.
The PREA auditor concluded this about DYS in the final 3-year summary audit report letter:
“Department of Youth Services’ commitment to the implementation of the PREA standards and PREA compliance across the full spectrum of service providers (state operated programs and contract vendor providers) is second to none. Massachusetts has created a seamless and coordinated implementation of the PREA standards across its ENTIRE juvenile justice.
I do not believe there is any other state that can claim the entire juvenile justice system (intake, detention, residential treatment, aftercare and privately operated programs) in their state is in full compliance with PREA. In my professional opinion, youth involved in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system are some of the safest youth in the country in terms of protection from sexual violence.”
Click the link below to view 2016 PREA Audit Reports Letter
Additional Resources for
PREA Annual Reports
These reports summarize the most recent findings of the Survey of Sexual Violence, State Juvenile Systems Summary Form as submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).