Since 2014, every U.S. state has been mandated to audit one-third of its state facilities every year. This means each of Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) facilities receives a national PREA audit by a USDOJ certified auditor every three years. The Governor certifies the state’s compliance annually for every facility under the operational control of the state’s Executive Branch. In Oregon, the Oregon Youth Authority
(OYA) and DOC impact the state’s compliance. DOC participates in a circular auditing agreement with several other states. Each state is responsible to send their staff to become certified and conduct audits in other states. This allows each state to receive audits without the cost of hiring a private contractor.
PREA standards apply to all confinement facilities, including county jails. In Oregon, county jails are not under the authority of the state’s Executive Branch; therefore, the Governor does not certify compliance for county jails. PREA standards address contracting with another facility for confinement (typically for rental beds) and require that any new contract or contract renewal must include the contracted entity’s obligation to comply with the PREA standards and allow for appropriate contract monitoring. If a state facility contracts with a county jail and the county jail chooses not to comply with any of the requirements under the PREA standards, including receiving a national PREA audit, the contracted facility will affect the state’s compliance.
Consequences for Noncompliance
The PREA statute provides that a state where the Governor does not certify full compliance with the standards, or does not provide an assurance for future compliance, is subject to the loss of five percent of any USDOJ
grant funds that it would otherwise receive for prison purposes. For states that provide an assurance for future compliance, the impacted grant funds become “frozen,” and those states have the option of utilizing the frozen funds to become compliant with PREA.
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