The policy changes will bring the department into compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which is a federal law designed to deal with the problem of sexual abuse within U.S. correctional agencies, said Correctional Chief Deputy Jerry Gutierrez.
“The whole thing has been overhauled,” Gutierrez said.
The updated policy now includes restrictions on jail staff searching or physically examining transgender and intersex inmates for the purpose of determining the inmate’s genital status and requires the reassessment of transgender or intersex inmates at least twice a year to identify potential victims of sexual abuse, among many other changes.
“It’s important for us ethically to operate our facilities properly,” said Chief Deputy Raymond Gregory, the department’s LGBT liaison. “It’s important for the sheriff’s department to keep up and reflect the diverse communities it serves.”
Gutierrez said policy changes include updated standards that will allow victims and their families to report potential sexual abuse incidents.
Another big part of the changes will also be educational efforts. Food staff and other support services in jails will now be provided with literature and training on how to properly deal with sexual abuse and the LGBT inmate population, Gutierrez said.
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