NH DHHS - Sununu Youth Services Center Achieves PREA Compliance

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) is announcing the

Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) has achieved PREA (Prison Rape

Elimination Act) compliance. PREA is a federal law established to address

the elimination and prevention of sexual abuse and rape in correctional and

juvenile systems. SYSC is one of the first juvenile facilities in the

country to achieve PREA compliance.

“This is an incredible accomplishment for New Hampshire as the requirements

to achieve this compliance were very strict,” said DHHS Commissioner

Nicholas Toumpas. “This is a testament to our staff and their commitment

to ensuring the best possible outcomes for the youth in our care.”

The audit looked at 2 years of staff efforts to comply with extremely

detailed requirements. SYSC staff and staff within DCYF worked together to

ensure New Hampshire complied with not only the standards of PREA but the

‘spirit’ of PREA, which is safety of youth and staff. This work included,

but was not limited to the following:

· Approximately 300 different PREA standards were embedded into

existing policies.

· Two new policies were developed specifically for PREA.

· Since August 20, 2013, SYSC has over 170 youth intakes with

orientation forms including Vulnerability Assessments and

· Over 600 PREA forms have been uploaded into the case files of the 170


· Review of every policy, and re-writing of 27 policies.

The findings from the audit highlight these and other achievements and

recognized SYSC as having better safety and security practices than most

facilities. “Other states would have difficulty meeting the standards that

New Hampshire has set with forms, policies, training curriculum, and

reporting processes,” said William Benjamin, auditor for the US Department

of Justice. “New Hampshire has set the standard for Medical and Mental

Health Care in their treatment programs, a credit to the therapeutic

programs SYSC already had in place.”

“The audit results serve to confirm that the Division is committed to not

only the national compliance standards, but the philosophy and spirit

behind those standards which is youth and staff safety,” said DCYF Director

Maggie Bishop.

To read the complete audit visit: