Sheriff Jim Branch was contacted by Steven T. McFarland of the United States Department of Justice. He requested the opportunity to tour the Culpeper County Jail and interview staff about the Jail not having any reports of sexual victimizations in 2007. The Jail staff prepared the information as requested by the PREA. The team packet contained rules and policies and procedures of the Jail. Sheriff Branch is proud to have received this recognition, and congratulates his detention staff on an excellent job.
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission was established by Congress as part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), 42 U.S.C. Section 15601, et. seq. When enacting this legislation, Congress considered that over two million people were incarcerated or detained in the United States as of the end of 2001, and the numbers have continued to grow since that time. Congress noted that the number of inmates who had been sexually assaulted in the twenty years preceding enactment of the Act “likely exceed[ed]1,000,000,” and that inmates with mental illness and youthful offenders were at increased risk of sexual victimization. Additionally, the impacts of rape within correctional and detention facilities reaches far beyond the walls of the institutions. Victims of prison rape suffer sever physical and psychological effects that often hinder their ability to integrate into their communities and maintain stable lives, employment, and other relationships upon release from incarceration.
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission team arrived on November 14, 2008, and conducted the public hearing in the Board of Supervisors Room at the County building. Testimony was given to the Review Panel explaining the policies and procedures of Culpeper’s Jail.
While Sheriff Branch is proud to have the recognition this has has given the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office, he would be remiss not to mention retired Sheriff H. Lee Hart whose tenure during 2007 helped make this accomplishment possible. Sheriff Branch served as Chief Deputy during this time and took office as Sheriff in 2008.