One of the core focus areas of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is the concept that each individual deserves to be protected and that one of the best ways to ensure that is through data collection and management. Handel has built RiteTrack to go beyond simply checking a box to designate a person as a female or male. Included as standard in our juvenile justice software is the ability to track not just a person’s actual gender, but also what they personally identify as and their sexual orientation. All of this information is tracked right on the Face Sheet of a resident in RiteTrack.
PREA requires special protections for intersex and transgender youth in a detention environment. Handel has taken this to heart and has designed, as standard product, functionality to track these data points.
There are instances where the labels of female or male simply do not encapsulate the reality of each individual resident. PREA recognized this and has set new requirements for working with intersex residents. RiteTrack has been built to scale to each facility’s unique requirements for tracking the gender of each resident. Below is an example dropdown list with three selection options; female, intersex, and male.
The above image is just to provide an example list of gender options. Each facility may custom design this dropdown list to suit their individual needs with as many options as they desire. What is more, if a facility needs to add an additional option in the future an administrator of the system may add the option through RiteTrack’s Admin Dashboard. The average time it takes to do this is under 30 seconds. This means that RiteTrack users can access very powerful functionality, with high degrees of flexibility, with no system down time.
Tracking Gender Identification
PREA defines transgender as, “A person whose gender identity is different from the person’s assigned gender at birth.” While tracking gender is, and will always be, a necessary requirement for juvenile facilities, that physical gender may not be how the resident personally views him or herself. In order to meet this new requirement, RiteTrack has built out additional functionality to track gender identification separately from a person’s physical gender at birth.
Much like the Gender dropdown box, the Gender Identification list may be altered by a facility to encapsulate as many options as is desired. This list can potentially get quite expansive; Facebook currently has 56 gender options. While a juvenile facility may never need to track that many options RiteTrack has been built to scale to that many, just in case.
Tracking Sexual Orientation
While tracking sexual orientation is not an explicit requirement in PREA, RiteTrack has been built with the philosophy that we don’t stop at just the minimum requirements. In working with juvenile facilities and other juvenile justice departments we have found that a person’s sexual orientation can have a great impact on how the juvenile interacts with other residents, interacts with staff, and experiences their stay at detention or residential facilities. This dropdown box works exactly like the two discussed previously; the list may be custom managed, added to at any time, and provide the flexibility that each facility deserves to have.
Accessing Advanced Functionality
While tracking data points is a great concept and a requirement that must be fulfilled, Handel believes that what we can then do with that data is much more important. Once users have access to a system that goes beyond check boxes that can only track if a resident is a female or a male and they are given the additional power of having more comprehensive gender choices, the ability to track how a person identifies him or herself, and the option to track sexual orientation we can begin to leverage that information to lead to better outcomes and track legislative requirements in a more robust manner.
Examples of this include PREA’s requirements to limit cross gender searches and viewings and to only allow trained staff the ability to search intersex and transgender youth. Once we track these three data points, it is then possible to build immensely powerful business logic off of those pieces of information and we can begin to, as an example, reduce the incidence of disallowed searches. Additionally, those fields can be paired with other modules in RiteTrack, such as Treatment Planning to be able to provide analytics on how gender, gender identification, and sexual orientation can play into that process.
Data can be powerful. Talk to a Handel Sales Representative or Project Manager today about how we can make your data work for you.
To learn more about the PREA requirements discussed in this post please go to the PREA webpage for Juvenile Facility Standards.