Piedmont Regional Jail Authority
Annual PREA Report and Staff Analysis
In 2003, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) mandating that correctional facilities nation-wide implement measures to prevent, detect and respond to sexual abuse and sexual misconduct of persons in custody of United States Correctional System. The Act created national standards applicable to all correctional facilities, public and private, in the United States. In 2012, specific standards required by this legislation were disseminated nationally by the Department of Justice, and a time table for compliance and subsequent federal compliance audits were set. PREA addresses sexual assault by both inmate on inmate and staff on inmate.
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority upholds the guidelines of PREA by the development of a Jail environment which mandates ZERO-TOLERANCE for any and all incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment whether consensual or non-consensual.
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority implements its “ZERO-TOLERANCE” policies through a systematic process that begins when the inmates are initially admitted into the Jail. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority requires each inmate observe a video titled, “What You Need to Know”, and made available to all inmates through the Kiosk a copy of the inmate handbook that further explains their rights to remain free from sexual abuse and sexual harassment and how it is managed within the jail. As a part of the intake process each inmate is screened to assess their risk of victimization or predation using an objective measurement tool based on specific risk factors. This tool is utilized to make individualized determination as to their housing assignment and program participation. During the classification process, they are informed of the Medical and Mental Health services available with the Jail. If PREA issues are discovered during the interview, the Qualified Mental Health Person is contacted and immediate services are available or a follow-up appointment is available.
Throughout the Jail, there are posters, explaining “ZERO-TOLERANCE” and the methods to report sexual misconduct in English and Spanish.
All newly hired Jail staff and contractors working within the Jail are required to complete orientation training prior to working in the Jail, which includes PREA training and them viewing several video’s relative to PREA. All correctional staff receives additional PREA training when attendance at the Basic Jailor’s program conducted by the Central Virginia Training Academy.
Refresher training is provided to all staff on an annual basis.
To prevent various forms of sexual misconduct, Piedmont Regional Jail Authority has numerous video cameras strategically placed throughout the Jail to eliminate blind spots to adequately protect staff and inmates from sexual abuse and to ensure the continued safety of staff and inmates. A review of the Jail was conducted by the staff and the PREA Coordinator to determine the need for additional video cameras and the review revealed that additional video cameras were needed to ensure the safety of the staff and inmates. The Jail has installed additional video cameras and is working with a contractor to add even more video cameras. Additional facility renovations have been contracted to ensure that the inmates PREA rights are not being violated.
When it comes to sexual activity within the Jail, the policies and procedures are clear; ALL SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS PROHIBITED. Forced or coerced sexual activity and behavior by staff or inmate is a criminal act that merits criminal prosecution. All substantiated sexual criminal acts are reported to the Virginia State Police for investigation to ensure the perpetrator faces the full consequences of the law and is grounds for employee termination.
Any form of substantiated consensual sexual activity that occurs within the Jail by staff or inmate is also prohibited. The inmate will be charged administratively by placing internal disciplinary sanctions for consenting sexual acts, and non-consensual acts will be forwarded to the Prince Edward County Commonwealth Attorney for possible prosecution. Any staff involvement in a PREA incident will be investigated and referred for prosecution to the Prince Edward County Commonwealth Attorney and is grounds for termination.
In accordance with PREA, all investigations are assigned one of three (3) possible determinations:
Substantiated – an allegation which was investigated and determined to have occurred.
Unfounded – an allegation which was investigated and determined not to have occurred.
Unsubstantiated – an allegation which produced insufficient evidence to make a final determination of a substantiated or unfounded.
In the year beginning January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2019 there were two (2) PREA allegations that were determined substantiated. There was a total of two (2) allegations that involved staff which were determined unsubstantiated. There was a total of eight (8) inmate on inmate allegations, six (6) were determined unsubstantiated, two (2) unfounded and zero (0) is on-going. All allegations for this year were reviewed by the “Sexual Assault Response Team” (SART). The team determined that additional cameras or changes in operational procedures are needed be initiated in the facility.
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority initiated PREA in late 2013 and during the 2014 the “Third Party Reporting” procedures was implemented: a third-party reporter is someone who reports sexual abuse and sexual harassment but is neither the victim nor the abuser. This person may have been told by victim about abuse or harassment, or witnessed it first-hand. Third-party includes other inmate, members of staff, family members, lawyers, contract employees, service providers, community or religious volunteers, etc.
A third-party can report any form of sexual assault, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment in person or anonymously in a variety of ways. Under PREA Standards, Piedmont Regional Jail Authority will accept all third-party reports received through:
Verbal Reports – Made in person or by telephone to a Jail Official, caller’s identity is not a prerequisite.
Written Communication – By letter or email the Jail.
Contact the PREA Investigator – (434) 392-1601, Ext. 241
Contact the PREA Coordinator – (434) 392-1601, Ext. 248
Contact the PREA Manager – (434) 392-1601, Ext. 297
You may leave a message at: (434) 392-3819
Contact Southside Center of Prevention of Violence: 1-888-819-2926
Inmates may make third-party reports by using the housing area telephones and dialing 99999 (1) (5), toll free to report incidents of sexual misconduct.
A third-party can submit a report verbally or in writing without disclosing his/her name or that of the alleged victim or abuser. A report may be submitted in a language other than English. Also, a third-party has the right to assist an inmate with completing and filing his/her own report of abuse or harassment. In 2019, there were zero (0) third party reports received.
Piedmont Regional Jail was opened in 1988 to serve the counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward. It was originally opened with a rate capacity of 103 inmates and in 2010 raised to a rated capacity of 274. At this time Piedmont Regional Jail Authority holds state, local and federal inmates with an average daily population of 600 inmates.
Divisions of the Facility
The facility is currently comprised of five divisions:
Compliance & Training
Inmate Services & Support
Placement of Supervisory Staff
Supervision at the jail facility is consistent with all applicable Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Standards. Video monitoring is utilized throughout the jail facility to enhance security and surveillance, but not used as a substitution for direct staff supervision.
The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority evaluated their staffing patterns in order to be in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The Superintendent, in conjunction with the Jail’s management team, will evaluate the jail’s staffing, organizational structure, and facility budget on an annual basis to ensure adequate levels of staffing are continuously present.
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority is a linear supervision facility and has drafting procedures in place to prevent having a post unattended. The facility utilizes the draft schedule to ensure minimum maintenance of posts at all times. Therefore, there is never an instance where a post is unattended. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority uses the following Staffing and Post Deployment:
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority staffing and post deployment is designed to cover all of the post designated in the facility. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority security staff currently work eight (8) hour shifts (8-4 shift), (4-12 shift) and (12-8 shift) each shift is staffed with twenty (20) officers, two (2) Sergeants and one (1) Lieutenant. There are four (4) shift breaks on each shift depending on personnel. Sergeant’s and Officer’s rest days are Wednesday/Thursday, Friday/Saturday, or Sunday/Monday; Lieutenant’s rest days are Saturday/Sunday. There is a Captain (Chief of Security) who directly supervise the security Lieutenants; there is a Major (Director of Security and Operations) that supervises the Captain. There are also contingency plans in place to ensure that the mandatory minimum coverage is always adhered to. The following is a chart of the posts that are present at the facility and the number of staff assigned to the post per eight (8) hour shift.
Post Areas Covered Officers
Back A-Pod, B-Pod, C-Pod, D-Pod 1 (Male)
Middle M-Pod, 04-Pod, 02-Pod, 03-Pod 1 (Male)
Front 01-Pod, F-Pod, G-Pod 1 (Male or Female)
Post 12 Main Central Control 1 (Male or Female)
L-Central L-Building Central Control 1 (Male or Female)
I-Central I-Building Central Control 1 (Male)
L-Floor L-1 Pod, L-2 Pod, L-3 Pod 1 (Male)
I-Floor I-1 Pod, I-2 Pod 1 (Male)
Post 9 Female Housing H-Pod, W-Pod 1 (Female)
Post 10 Release Cells: J-1, J-2, J-3, J-4, J-5, J-6 1 (Male or Female)
Intake Cells: I-9, I-10, I-11, I-12, I-16, I-17,
I-18, I-19, I-20, I-21, I-22, I-23 1 (Male or Female)
Shift Supervisor Supervise the entire Jail 1 (Male or Female)
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority mandates that the above staffing deployment is adhered to at the beginning of each and every shift. This deployment in maintained by the use of a daily draft schedule that is posted each month. Officers from each shift are assigned draft days to ensure coverage of each shift, if needed. A minimum of one (1) Supervisor and eleven (11) Officers are required to begin a shift. The mandatory minimum coverage on the shift at any time is one (1) Supervisor and eight (8) Officers. If two (2) officers are required to be utilized for emergency reasons, the officer working the Middle Post and the officer working Post ten (10) will be utilized for the emergency. The officers working the Front and Back Post will assume the duties of the Middle Officers Post, the officer working Post Nine (9) will assume the duties of Post Ten (10) along with the assistance of the Shift Supervisor. If the mandatory minimum is in effect, draft personnel will be called in resulting in being at mandatory minimum only for the time it takes for the drafted officer to report to the jail. If for any reason the facility staffing drops below one (1) Supervisor and eleven (11) Officers, the reason why is documented on the Daily Report Log (DR log) as well as on an incident report. One (1) Majors, two (2) Captains and seven (7) Lieutenants are on call twenty-four (24) hours a day for facility emergencies.
Consideration of Sexual Abuse and Harassment
Piedmont Regional Jail Authority has had minimum allegations of abuse. However, the jail is proactive in allegations of abuse and has identified areas that needed additional monitoring. Additional staff have been placed in those areas to minimize abuse. Cameras are used to monitor each housing unit; however, the cameras are placed at specific viewing angles in an effort to minimize blind spots and positioned to specifically to avoid shower and toilet areas to provide inmates privacy while performing personal hygiene functions.
Video Monitoring is utilized throughout the jail to enhance security and surveillance. The
Piedmont Regional Jail Maintenance Department has upgraded existing cameras to IP in the LBuilding, as well as cameras were replaced in the I-Building as well as new cameras, and new cameras were installed in the Utility Building.
The information presented in this report indicates that Piedmont Regional Jail Authority has not received many reports of sexual abuse or harassment. Continued education for staff, inmates and volunteers will be a continued point of importance, by fashioning an atmosphere that is free from sexual abuse or harassment, so the inmates in our custody can develop more confidently and safely towards their ultimate goals of release from the Jail. Piedmont Regional Jail Authority remains committed to adhering to the requirement of PREA and will continue to thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual abuse of inmates in the custody of the jail.
Signature Copy on file 12/11/2020
Jerry R. Townsend, Superintendent Date