Title: Sexual Assault
Category: Offender Management
Implement Date: 15 August 2008
Application: Custodial Operations
Appendices and Forms
|5.||Management of alleged perpetrators of sexual assault|
|6.||Management of perpetrators of sexual assault|
|7.||Intensive management plan|
To provide for the appropriate management of prisoners in the prevention of and management of incidents of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault in corrective services facilities.
Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) has a duty of care to provide a safe environment for prisoners in the correctional system. All staff involved in the management of prisoners must understand their roles and professional accountabilities in regard to the prevention and management of sexual assault within the correctional environment.
Staff must have an awareness of-
A prisoner must be encouraged to be involved as much as possible in his/her management within the correctional environment.
If an officer detects any overt signs of prisoner vulnerability to sexual assault, the officer must immediately report his/her suspicions to the unit manager.
All actions must be handled in such a way as to ensure the privacy and safety of victims and witnesses.
On reception to a facility, a prisoner if alleged to have been previously sexually assaulted in a correctional environment or who may be at an increased risk of sexual assault (eg because of age, disability (physical or intellectual), first period of incarceration) must be assessed to provide for identification, safe placement and monitoring.
Following a prisoner's transfer into a corrective services facility -
If information is available that the prisoner has previously engaged in sexually assault behaviour, either on the basis of convictions or documented allegations, consideration should be given to the development of an intensive management plan (refer procedure - Intensive Management). Under no circumstances is an alleged sexual perpetrator to be “doubled up” with another prisoner.
Following admission or transfer of a prisoner into a corrective services facility, health services reception procedures must include a review of the prisoner's medical file at the earliest opportunity (including the Medical-In-Confidence form - refer IOMS) to determine whether a history of sexual assault has been recorded (refer procedure - Initial Receptions into Custody). Queensland Health centre staff must encourage self-reporting of previous incidents of sexual assault both within the correctional system and prior to this period of incarceration.
If there is indication of a previous/recent sexual assault, the assessing Queensland Health centre staff must immediately report this information to the Sentence Management Co-ordinator for consideration of that prisoner's placement within the facility and referral to psychological and counselling services.
If a prisoner is assessed as being vulnerable to sexual victimisation, a system of support and monitoring (which if appropriate may include routine surveillance or counselling) must be instigated.
Refer procedure - Induction
The induction of prisoners into the correctional system and into all secure and open custody corrective services facilities should be designed to assist in reducing the incidence of sexual assault. This process should include providing information to assist prisoners in preventing and avoiding sexual assault. This should take place within two days of initial admission into the correctional system and within seven days of a transfer admission into a facility.
As part of the induction process all prisoners should be -
Notices should also be clearly displayed in corrective services facilities to raise prisoners' awareness in relation to sexual assault and advise that prisoner's decisions to report incidents of sexual victimisation for their own safety or the safety of others will be supported.
For all operational responses to allegations of sexual assault, refer procedure - First Officer Response - Medical and Assault. All incidences of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault must be reported to the Corrective Services Investigation Unit for determination (refer Corrective Services Act 2006 s 113).
Following an allegation of sexual assault, the general manager or nominee must-
Operational response must ensure safe placement, on-going monitoring and an adequate social support system for the victim and any witnesses (including staff and prisoners), including liaison with the assessing psychologist. These decisions should be made in consultation with the victim.
All prisoners within the unit must be assessed and if necessary counselled and referred to a psychiatrist.
Prompt medical intervention must be provided for all prisoners who allege sexual assault to ensure comprehensive medical assessment (eg injuries, screening for infectious diseases) and treatment requirements are met (refer procedure - Assault).
Agreement and informed consent must be obtained from the alleged victim following sexual assault before medical or forensic examination or follow-up commences. The detail of a refusal to proceed with medical and/or forensic examination must be documented on the prisoner's Queensland Health medical record (refer procedure - Consent).
Timing is an important consideration in obtaining consent. If a prisoner chooses not to proceed with a medical examination and does not provide informed consent, it must be explained to the prisoner that medical specimens may not be obtainable at a later date, and if charges are to be laid, then vital forensic evidence may be lost if not collected immediately. Specimens can be taken and kept while the prisoner decides whether to proceed with legal redress.
If the prisoner wishes to pursue charges and consents to a forensic examination, the matter should be referred immediately to a government medical officer.
Forensic examination of the alleged victim must be undertaken according to standard protocols to ensure preservation of evidence for prosecution purposes.
Any prisoner who makes an allegation of sexual assault must be referred to a Senior Psychologist/Psychologist immediately (or to external services if outside business hours).
The perpetrator / alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault must also be referred to a psychologist to assess his/her risk of self-harm (refer procedure - At-Risk Management (Self Harm/Suicide)).
Decisions regarding placement and monitoring of the prisoner who alleges a sexual assault must be made in consultation with the assessing psychologist. Adequate social support must be provided for the victim and any witnesses following an alleged assault. In consultation with the prisoner, consideration should be given to providing a support person and/or arranging contact with family or a nominated contact person. The support person must not be seen as part of the Risk Management strategy, but simply as extra support.
The psychologist must-
An immediate review of the placement of the victim, any witnesses and the alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault must occur to ensure the safety of prisoners. Transfer to another facility may be considered as an option.
If a sexual assault has been reported and concerns for personal safety are indicated by the victim and/or correctional staff and/or Queensland Health staff and both the victim and alleged perpetrator are domiciled at the same facility, these prisoners must not be placed in the same accommodation area.
An alleged perpetrator of sexual assault is defined for the purposes of this procedure as a person who is known to have been the subject of allegations of sexual assault.
Subsequent to an initial follow-up of a complaint, the alleged perpetrator's placement must be reviewed to ensure that the prisoner does not have access to the victim or pose a threat to any other prisoners.
If possible, after the victim and alleged perpetrator have been accommodated safely, the alleged perpetrator should be notified of the complaint.
If assessed as necessary, further strategies can include-
If an alleged perpetrator has been the subject of a proven complaint, an Intensive Management Plan must be developed to ensure that the prisoner is closely supervised (refer procedure - Intensive Management).
A perpetrator of sexual assault is defined for the purposes of this procedure as a person who has been convicted of sexual assault.
For a perpetrator of sexual assault-
Refer procedure - Intensive Management
The Intensive Management Plan must be developed in consultation with staff responsible for the prisoner's supervision and must include but not be limited to the Accommodation Manager, Correctional Supervisor, Psychologist and Case Officer.
The management plan of a perpetrator of sexual assault may include but is not limited to-
Refer procedure - Incident Reporting
All incidents of sexual assault must be recorded in an incident report on IOMS and a copy of the report placed on the offender file of both the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim of the assault.
The incident report must include-
15/08/2008 Version 03 - 28/08/2006 Version 02 - 06/10/2004 Version 01