The on-site Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance audit of the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility (GSYCF), New Jersey
Department of Corrections (NJDOC), was conducted September 26-27, 2016. Prior to the audit, the facility submitted the Pre-Audit
Questionnaire to the auditor and provided a comprehensive set of supporting documents for the responses to the questionnaire. This
information was discussed with the facility PREA Compliance Manager prior to the on-site visit. Much of the documentation was in the
form of NJDOC and facility written policies and documentation supporting compliance to the PREA. The Agency Head (Commissioner)
and the Agency Wide PREA Coordinator were interviewed prior to the on-site visit.
An entrance meeting was held the first day of the audit to discuss any concerns regarding the audit process and to finalize the facility tour
and interview schedules. The following persons were in attendance: the Agency Wide PREA Coordinator, the Administrator, the
Associate Administrator, the Assistant Superintendent/PREA Compliance Manager, and a Management Analyst. A comprehensive tour of
the entire facility was completed. The tour included the admissions and discharge area, all housing units including the youthful offender
unit, the segregation unit, the medical department, the mental health department, recreation areas, the food service department, the
maintenance department, the law library, the visitation area, and education/ programming areas. During the tour, it was noted that there
were 121 operating video cameras with recording capabilities, PREA information postings and staffing was observed to be clearly
sufficient to ensure a safe environment for inmates and staff. No significant "blind spots" were noted. Signs were posted (in English and
Spanish) throughout the institution that provided PREA reporting methods, the zero tolerance policy and other contact information. Audit
notice postings with the PREA auditors’ contact information were also located in the same areas. Informal conversations with employees
and inmates regarding the PREA standards were conducted during the tour. There were no letters mailed to the auditor as a result of the
audit postings in the housing units. All areas of the facility were observed to be clean and orderly.
Fifteen randomly selected line staff were interviewed and included employees from several departments. Correctional officers and
supervisors from various shifts were included. All were very aware of the agency’s zero tolerance policy and knew of their responsibilities
to protect inmates from sexual abuse/harassment and their duties as first responders. Specialized staff were also interviewed and
included the Administrator, Assistant Superintendent/PREA Manager, the Human Resources Manager, a Major, two Investigators, the
Nurse Manager, the Mental Health Clinical Supervisor, one Correctional Officer who supervises inmates in Segregated Housing, one
Intake Staff, one Staff who performs Screening for Risk of Victimization/Abusiveness, one Education Staff who works with Youthful
Offenders, two Correctional Officers who work with Youthful Offenders, the Retaliation Monitor, one Volunteer and two Contractors. All
staff interviewed, the contractors and the volunteer demonstrated a thorough understanding and knowledge of the PREA and their
responsibilities under the PREA compliance program, relative to their position in the organization and employment status.
Fifteen randomly selected inmates were interviewed from all housing units. One limited English Proficient inmate, one Inmate who had
disclosed prior victimization during risk screening and three youthful offenders were interviewed. During the time of the audit there were
no inmates who had self-identified as being gay, bi-sexual, transgender or intersex. There were also no inmates who had reported sexual
abuse at the facility. All of the inmates interviewed demonstrated a thorough understanding of the PREA and the prevention, protection
and reporting mechanisms and all stated they felt safe at the facility. No inmates refused to be interviewed.
A review of the investigative files of allegations filed during the previous twelve months alleging sexual abuse or sexual harassment was
conducted. There were six allegations by inmates of inmate on inmate sexual abuse or sexual harassment. All six were determined to be
either unfounded or unsubstantiated. There were two allegations of staff on inmate sexual abuse or sexual harassment that were both
determined to be unfounded. All investigations were completed promptly, thoroughly and were well documented.
The auditor concluded, through interviews and a review of policies and documentation, that all staff and inmates were very knowledgeable
concerning their responsibilities regarding the Prison Rape Elimination Act. During the interviews, the inmates acknowledged that they
received information about the facility's zero tolerance policy against sexual abuse upon arrival and indicated that most staff were
respectful and helpful. Staff were able to describe their specific duties and responsibilities, including being a "first responder", if an
incident occurred or an allegation of sexual abuse or sexual harassment was made.