Some San Diego County jails may be under the gun, but an auditor for the U.S. Justice Department has found that downtown's Metropolitan Correctional Center is in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, despite previous reports of trouble.
"There were 7 sexual assault/harassment allegation cases within the past year," according to the audit, dated May 23 and conducted by Wynnie T. Samuels, a lieutenant with the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department in Miami, Florida.
"Of the seven, 6 resulted in administrative investigations; as a result three were referred for criminal investigation. Consequently, three cases remain under investigation and the FBI declined one case."
No other details were provided.
The audit, conducted between April 15th and 18th, began with a guided tour, according to the report. "I was greeted by Warden [David Young] and his command staff and conversed with them briefly."
"I was given a listing of all inmates housed in the various units at the facility and randomly selected inmates from each housing unit as well as any inmates who were limited English speaking or had hearing/vision impairment to be interviewed,” Samuels reported.
"There were no vision impaired inmates; I did interview 4 limited English speaking inmates utilizing an interpreter, 1 transgender inmate, 1 gay and 1 lesbian inmate. MCC does not house juvenile inmates. I conducted a total of 50 random inmate interviews."
Despite the prior allegations of sexually related incidents at the facility, her findings were positive, Samuels said.
"Based upon confidential interviews and onsite assessment, I found the staff and inmates to be well aware of [the Prison Rape Elimination Act].
“The staff was exceptionally knowledgeable about their agency's zero tolerance policy, reporting responsibilities and protocol dealing with victims of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment.
"Additionally, Medical and Mental Health staff did an exceptional job providing additional educational training to all staff on how to identify and treat victims of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, and provide excellent services parallel to that in the community to the [inmates who are] entrusted in their care."
The correctional facility was said by Samuels to be "unique from other pre-trial institutions due to it being located only 15 miles from the International Border.”
The most common raps against inmates at the facility, the report said, are those involving illegal entry and alien smuggling, as well as narcotics cases.
"A small percentage of low security inmates are designated to serve their sentence at the facility and to serve as the institution's work details."