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How to Implement a Prison Based Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

NCJ Number
Hallie Martyniuk
Date Published
8 pages
After reviewing the features and functions of a community-based Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), this paper discusses how a SART operates in responding to an in-prison sexual assault and the steps involved in establishing an in-prison SART in a Pennsylvania prison.
Communities across the Nation have established SARTs to treat victims of sexual assault and collect evidence from victims sensitively and effectively, thus meeting victim needs and the objectives of investigators. A community-based SART consists of a sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE), an advocate from a local rape crisis center, a law enforcement officer, and a prosecutor. Each member has a specific role and works closely with other team members. Within the prison environment, the implementation of a SART ensures consistent, timely responses to all incidents of sexual violence. The institutional SART consists of a PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) compliance manager, a correctional officer (investigator), and medical service personnel. The role of each of these team members is explained. The steps developed for establishing an institution-based SART in a Pennsylvania prison include the initial meeting of collaborative partners (institutional staff and representatives from the local rape crisis center); basic training; intensive SART training; the meeting between institutional SART members and community-based SART members; and the meeting for SAFE nurses, PREA compliance managers, and community-based advocates. Activities for each of these steps are outlined. The paper concludes with a discussion of collaboration and communication between institutional and community-based SARTs, including lessons learned from successful collaborations. 3 references