Safe Environmental Standards
Rite of Passage is committed to providing a safe environment free from sexual abuse for the students in our care. To this end, Rite of Passage has developed Safe Environmental Standards in accordance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY
Rite of Passage has a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual activity. All students in our programs have a right to be free from sexual assault or harassment, as well as free from retaliation for reporting. There is no “consensual” sexual activity between students or between staff and students at Rite of Passage programs. (§115.311)
Students are encouraged to report sexual harassment or assault by another student or a staff member. They may report to any staff member, to an outside agency (phone numbers on posters throughout the program), or anonymously by writing it down and submitting it to any grievance box in any living area.
Rite of Passage accepts third-party reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment from a friend or family member of a student (§115.354). Third-party reporting forms are available at the front desk of our programs or can be downloaded here. If you suspect sexual abuse you may also call Rite of Passage at (775)267-9411 to report it or report it to the Sheriff or Police Department where the allegations occurred. All reports are taken seriously and investigated.
Staff must report any knowledge or suspicion of sexual harassment or sexual assault to their supervisor immediately. Staff may also privately report to their site PREA Compliance Manager or their Regional Improvement Imbedded PREA Coordinator.
There is often concern that addressing PREA-related issues in policy and procedure, and educating students as to their right to be free from sexual abuse, may result in false accusations or false reports of staff misconduct. All allegations will be thoroughly and timely investigated and knowingly false allegations may be prosecuted.
Rite of Passage will ensure that an administrative investigation is completed for all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment will be referred for investigation to the local agency with the legal authority to conduct criminal investigations, unless the allegation does not involve potentially criminal behavior. (Safe Environmental Standards Policy/PREA Standard §115.322). The local agency is Arkansas Police Department (1 State Police Plaza Dr, Little Rock, AR 72209 | 501-682-7669).
SEXUAL ABUSE REPORTING
In compliance with Rite of Passage’s Safe Environmental Standards Policies, regarding publication of annual reporting and aggregated sexual abuse data, Rite of Passage will report each year using the U.S. Department of Justice Survey of Sexual Violence Summary form, regarding founded allegations of sexual abuse in our programs (§115.388, §115.389). Rite of Passage continuously educates all staff, students, contractors, and volunteers on Safe Environmental Standards regarding the importance of protecting students from sexual abuse.
The most recent DJJ audit may be accessed here.