The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 is a federal law that prohibits all sexual misconduct within a correctional setting, such as prisons, jails, lockups, juvenile facilities, and Immigration Services. Sexual misconduct under the act is defined as:
- Detainee on Detainee sexual assault/abuse
- Detainee on Detainee sexual harassment
- Staff on Detainee sexual abuse
- Staff on Detainee sexual harassment
Agencies must demonstrate a zero-tolerance not merely by words and written policy, but through their actions, including what they do to prevent sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment and the response of the facilities if it occurs.
As the prevention of sexual assaults in prison is an operational priority for the Lea County Detention Center (LCDC), every allegation brought to attention will be investigated in a timely manner.
Allegations of prison rape can be reported by calling 575.396.8607 or Email PREA or by mail at:
1401 S Commercial
Lovington, NM 88260
Lea County Detention Center PREA Program
Lea County Detention Center is committed to ensuring the safety of all detainees within our care. The department maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding ALL forms of sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Sexual abuse against a detainee is a violation of LCDC policy, and institutional rules, and is a crime, whether committed by a staff member or a detainee.
In efforts to PREVENT abuse/sexual harassment within the facilities, LCDC has implemented the following:
- LCDC policy applies to all detainees, employees, contractors, and volunteers who enter our facilities.
- LCDC has appointed a designated PREA Coordinator with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement and oversee the agency's efforts to comply with the PREA Standards in all facilities.
- The Lea County Juvenile Detention Center has a designated PREA Compliance Manager with sufficient time and authority to develop, implement and oversee the Juvenile Detention Center’s efforts to comply with the PREA Standards within its detention center.
- Background checks are completed on all staff, contractors, and volunteers prior to entering LCDC and LCJDC.
- Institutional PREA Employee background checks are completed. LCDC will cooperate with providing an institutional PREA background of former employees.
- All staff, contractors, and volunteers are required to attend PREA basic training and annual refresher training.
- Report any occurrence to any staff member verbally, via telephone, or by mail, you may do so anonymously, if you choose.
Prevention, Reporting & Investigative Efforts
LCDC has taken the following prevention, reporting, and investigative efforts:
- Requires forensic medical examinations be used whenever possible for sexual assaults.
- Requires all LCDC staff, contract employees, and volunteers to attend PREA basic training and annual refresher training.
- Requires specialized training for first responders that covers crime scene preservation, avoiding contamination, and following forensic evidence collection protocol as it applies to sexual assault victims and/or sexual predators. Other specialized training includes addressing the dynamics of sexual victimization, signs/symptoms associated with sexual violence, and appropriate responses and interventions for victims of sexual abuse and/or sexual predators.
- Uses a classification process to identify potential sexual vulnerability and sexually aggressive behavior in offenders.
- LCDC has a PREA Coordinator and PREA Compliance Manager onsite to investigate allegations in a timely manner.
Services Offered to Victims of Sexual Abuse
- Free, confidential rape crisis hotline
- Mental Health Counseling
- A free forensic medical examination performed by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
- Provide victim advocacy/victim rights information if applicable
- Provide the opportunity to report allegations to an agency outside LCDC.
- Monitoring for retaliation by the PREA Coordinator