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Anti-Fraternization Policies and Their Utility in Preventing Staff Sexual Abuse in Custody

NCJ Number
242314
Author(s)
Brenda V. Smith; Melissa C. Loomis
Date Published
May 2013
Length
19 pages
Annotation
This report from the National PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) Resource Center presents summaries of cases in which prison anti-fraternization policies were both upheld and not upheld by the courts.
Abstract
Anti-fraternization policies have been established by correctional authorities to ensure the safety of corrections officers and the overall safety and security of correctional facilities. This report presents summaries of cases in which prison anti-fraternization policies were both upheld and not upheld by the courts. The policies are aimed at prohibiting correctional employees from "engaging in relationships, romantic, financial, or otherwise, with current or former inmates and their families." When employees challenge these policies, they usually do so under their first amendment right to freedom of association, claiming that these policies violate their constitutional right to freedom of association or privacy. As reflected in the cases highlighted in this report, the courts usually find that the anti-fraternization policies do not violate correctional employees' constitutional rights, and that correctional facilities' interests in preserving security and order are of greater importance than protecting the romantic relationships of their employees. The report presents an overview of 23 cases from 10 of the 12 circuit courts in which the anti-fraternization policies of correctional agencies were upheld, and 3 cases from 3 of the 12 circuit courts in which the courts did not uphold the anti-fraternization policies of correctional agencies.

Date Published: May 1, 2013