Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) officials will testify before the U.S. Department of Justice’s Review Panel on Prison Rape on Wednesday, June 3, 2010. DCYF was invited to share information about Rhode Island state policies and practices that have resulted in one of the lowest rates in the nation of sexual victimization at a training facility.
DCYF director Patricia Martinez, Acting Rhode Island Training School Superintendent Kevin Aucoin, and Associate Director for Child Welfare Stephanie Terry will share information with the panel about Rhode Island Training School policy, operations, human resource management, investigation procedures, and staff training. The panel is expected to request information about steps the training school has taken to address deficiencies in the past, and about how they are building on identified strengths at the school.
Director Martinez is expected to testify about the training school’s required six-week Training Academy, which offers modules on laws related to abuse of residents and other topics such as patterns of victimization and danger signs. She will also provide information about the safety and risk assessment protocols for all newly detained youth; programming designed to meet the mental health and support services of incarcerated youth; reporting and response procedures, and continual enforcement and awareness-building.
“The top priority of our department is the safety of all children and youth in our care – including incarcerated youth. I am pleased that the successful systems and programming developed at the Training School may become a model for the rest of the nation,” said DCYF Director Patricia Martinez.