In 2014, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls designated an office of PREA Compliance for the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. This office is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the Sheriff’s Office is compliant with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) [PDF] of 2003 which was instituted by then President George W. Bush. This requirement was established to address the elimination and prevention of sexual assault and harassment in correctional systems. PREA applies to all federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities, and community settings such as residential facilities.
The Sheriff's Office has established Fort Bend County (PREA) Policies and Procedures [PDF] under Lieutenant Penrod which promotes a safe environment for inmates by reducing sexual abuse and sexual harassment, in accordance with federal standards. All allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment shall be referred for investigation. Allegations involving potentially criminal behavior shall be conducted by the Criminal Investigations Division by investigators who have been properly trained in conducting investigations of sexual abuse in confinement settings.
Each year, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office will publish an Annual Report [PDF] regarding PREA-related incidents along with plans to improve prevention, detection, and investigation activities. Personal identifiers and specific details related to the complaint were redacted in order to protect the confidentiality of the individual as well as the safety and security of the facility.
PREA mandates all adult prisons and jails undergo an audit by a Department of Justice Certified Auditor. On July 14, 2014, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office was audited for its compliance with PREA standards. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office passed their PREA Audit without any corrective action, making it one of the first County Detention facilities in the State of Texas to achieve compliance. The auditor certified compliance in the 2014 Audit Report [PDF], which assesses the Sheriff’s Office compliance of each standard. On April 3, 2017, the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office was audited again for its compliance with PREA standards. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office passed their PREA Audit without any corrective action for the second consecutive time. The auditor certified compliance in the 2017 Audit Report [PDF], which assesses the Sheriff’s Office compliance of each standard. A summary of the findings are listed below.
Summary of Audit Findings
Number of standards exceeded: 2
Number of standards met: 39
Number of standards not met: 0
Not Applicable: 2
Friends and Family can report allegations of suspected sexual abuse, sexual harassment, or retaliation by calling Sergeant Reiser: 281-341-3854 or Richard.Reiser@fortbendcountytx.gov