State Training School meets, exceeds all standards in federal audit

Eldora State Training School

Audit examines efforts to prevent, respond to sex abuse/harassment

 
The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) announced Tuesday that the Boys State Training School (STS) in Eldora met or exceeded all applicable standards under a recent audit that examines the facility’s efforts to prevent, detect and respond to any incident of sexual abuse or sexual harassment.
 
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) audit reviewed 41 standards. You can review the report here. The STS achieved the following:
 
  • Number of standards exceeded: 2
  • Number of standards met: 38
  • Number of standards not met: 0
  • Number of standards not applicable: 1
 
Two standards were rated “exceeds” and these included Specialized Training: Investigations, as well as Screening for Victimization and Abusiveness. One standard, Contracting for the Confinement of Youth, Upgrades to Facilities and Technology was not applicable. The remaining standards were rated “meets” the requirements of the standard.
 
The final federal PREA rule became effective in August of 2012 with compliance required by August 2016.
 
Some highlights from the auditor’s observations about the STS included praise for the facility’s PREA plans:
 
“This plan described prevailing staffing patterns, the deployment of video monitoring technology, and the allocation of resources to commit to the staffing plan to ensure compliance with the staffing Plan … The facility also has an education program capable of accessing assistance with students who were limited intellectually or who may need access to an interpreter for disabilities such as hearing or visual impairment … Training is tailored to suit the needs, attributes, and gender of the students of the State Training School.”
 
Compliments regarding staff:
 
The agency’s PREA coordinator is “is very knowledgeable of the PREA Standards and active in implementing them in this facility… The Facility’s PREA Compliance Manager is also a higher level staff, with sufficient time and authority to implement PREA, who reports directly to the Superintendent of the Facility. An interview with the PREA Compliance Manager confirmed she is well versed in PREA, intelligent and more than capable of implementing it and maintaining it. The PREA Compliance Manager was highly motivated and described in detail how PREA was implemented in this facility and how she worked to achieve compliance if there was an issue with a particular standard. The Superintendent is intelligent and has provided leadership in implementing PREA and has provided support to the PREA Compliance Staff. The commitment to PREA by the agency is also evidenced by the fact that the Agency Division Director did not designate someone to be interviewed in his stead. He was articulate and his knowledge of PREA was impressive.”
 
And acknowledgement of a well-kept facility:
 
“The facility and grounds were clean and neat. The campus is a sprawling campus with multiple buildings, including housing units. The grounds were immaculate.”
 
DHS Director Jerry R. Foxhoven praised the staff at the STS for their hard work and commitment to keeping the young men served there safe.
 
“The PREA audit underscores that staff are committed to keeping the boys they serve safe from any type of sexual harassment or abuse,” said Foxhoven. “In only the second year of PREA audit, our facility has reached or exceeded all standards. I’m extremely proud of the dedication of the staff at the STS.”
 
Eldora, established in the 1880s, provides a comprehensive program of supervision, care, treatment and education designed to increase the likelihood of the students becoming productive citizens and reducing the likelihood of future re-offenses. The most common offenses students are adjudicated to Eldora for are Assault Causing Bodily Injury, Interference with Official Acts – Bodily Injury, 2nd Degree Robbery, Carrying Weapons and 2nd Degree Sexual Abuse.
 
Eldora is accredited by the American Correctional Association, and the ACA last year found Eldora to be 100 percent in compliance for all mandatory and non-mandatory standards.
 
For more information on the State Training School click here
 
More information on DHS and its programs is found at http://dhs.iowa.gov/
 
or contact 
 
Amy McCoy, Public Information Officer, 515-281-4848, amccoy@dhs.state.ia.us