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DOJ Proposes That Prison|Staff Who Rape Be Fired

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Department of Justice has proposed that prison staff members who engage in "sexually abusive behavior or penetration" be fired, according to new standards to prevent prison rape.

The proposed standards, developed by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, include that all terminations for violating the standard would be reported to law enforcement agencies and licensing authorities.

The proposed standards also address detection and response to prison rape and sexual abuse.

The commission wants all inmates screened at intake and at administrative, medical and judicial reviews, to keep those at high risk of being sexually victimized from those at high risk of being sexually abusive.

Also, institutions must have multiple internal ways for inmates to report abuse easily, privately and securely, according to the proposed regulations. This could include sexual abuse, retaliation by other inmates or staff for reporting sexual abuse, and failure of staff to prevent abuse. Facilities also would have to provide at least one way for inmates to report abuse to an outside public entity or office not affiliated with the agency.

In addition to training for correctional staff, the rule also would introduce standards that all full- and part-time medical and mental health care workers at correctional facilities be trained in how to detect and assess signs of sexual abuse, and that all medical practitioners be trained in how to preserve physical evidence of sexual abuse.

The department estimates that the proposed standards would cost approximately, $374 million on average per year from 2012 until 2026.

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