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Home » Departments » Detention Center

Detention Center

Lon Thiele, Sheriff

The Steele County Detention Center operates under the Steele County Sheriff's Office and is located at 2500 Alexander St., Owatonna MN 55060.  

Mission Statement

The Steele County Detention Center’s main purpose is to optimize public safety by the safe and humane housing of sentenced and non sentenced detainees awaiting due process, according to all state statues.

It is hoped that the restriction of freedom, one of the inalienable rights in the United States of America, will be a deterrent to all offenders.

It is the hope of the citizens of Steele County that those who pass through the Steele County Detention Center will re-enter society as more productive and responsible members of our community.

We believe in the safe, humane, and fair treatment of all individuals.

We believe that the implementation of this mission statement will require good management and well-trained staff.

 

PREA         

 

PURPOSE

This policy provides guidance for compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and the implementing regulation that establishes standards (PREA Rule) to prevent detect and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment.

 DEFINITIONS

 Sexual Abuse:  Any of the following act, if the inmate does not consent, is coerced into such act by overt or implied threats of violence or is unable to consent or refuse:

  • Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight
  • Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva or anus
  • Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object or other instrument
  • Any other intentional touching either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or the buttocks of another  person , excluding contact incidental to a physical altercation (28 CFR 115.6)

 Sexual abuse also includes abuse by a staff member, contractor or volunteer as follows, with or without consent of the inmate, detainee or resident:

  • Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, including penetration, however slight
  • Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva or anus
  • Contact between the moth and any body part where the staff member, contractor or volunteer with the intent to abuse, arouse or gratify sexual desire
  • Penetration of the anal or genital opening, however slight, by a finger, object, hand, or other instrument that is unrelated to official duties, or where the staff member, contractor, or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse or gratify sexual desire
  • Any other intentional contact, either directly or through the clothing , of or with, the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or the buttocks, that is unrelated to official duties, or where the staff member, contractor or volunteer has the intent to abuse, arouse or gratify sexual desire
  • Any attempt, threat or request by a staff member, contractor or volunteer to engage in activities described above
  • Any display by a staff member, contractor or volunteer oh his/her uncovered genitalia, buttocks or breast in the presence of an inmate, detainee or resident
  • Voyeurism by a staff member, contractor or volunteer (28-CFR-115.6)

 

Sexual Harassment:  Repeated and unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; verbal comments, gestures or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one inmate that are directed toward another; repeated verbal comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate by a staff member, contractor or volunteer including demeaning references to gender, sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing, or obscene language or gestures (28-CFR 115.6)

 POLICY

The Steele County Sheriff’s Office and the Steele County Detention Center has zero tolerance with regard to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in this facility and will take appropriate affirmative  measures to protect all inmates from sexual abuse and harassment and to promptly and thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment (28 CFR 115.11)

 

tions. (28-CFR-115.16)

 Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment Investigations

An administrative investigation, criminal investigation or both shall be completed for all allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment (28-CFR-115.22) Administrative investigations shall include an effort to determine whether the staff’s actions or inaction contributed to the abuse (28 CFR-115.71).   Only investigators who have completed office-approved training on sexual abuse and sexual harassment investigation shall be assigned to investigate these cases.

When practicable, an investigator of the same sex as the victim should be assigned to the case.  Sexual abuse and sexual harassment investigations should be conducted promptly and continuously until completed.  Investigators should evaluate reports or threats of sexual abuse and sexual harassment without regard to an inmate’s sexual orientation, sex or gender identity.  Investigators should not assume that any sexual activity among inmates is consensual.

If the investigation is referred to another agency for investigation, the referral shall be documented.

 If criminal acts are identified as a result of the investigation, the case shall be presented to the appropriate prosecutor’s office for filing new charges.

 If a victim is under the age of 18 or considered a vulnerable adult under state law, the assigned investigator shall report the allegation to the designated social services agency as required by (28-CFR 115.61)

 Investigative Findings

All completed investigations shall be forwarded to the Jail Administrator or if the allegations may reasonably involve the Jail Administrator, County Coordinator or county administrator shall review the investigation and determine whether any allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment have been substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence (28 CFR 115.72)

The staff shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including termination for violating this policy.  Termination shall be the presumptive disciplinary sanction for staff members who have engaged in sexual abuse.  All discipline shall be commensurate with the nature and circumstances of the acts committed, the staff member’s discipline history, and the sanctions imposed for comparable offenses by other staff with similar histories.

 All terminations for violations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment policies, or resignations by staff who would have been terminated if not for their resignation, shall be reported to the law enforcement agency that would handle any related investigation and to any relevant licensing bodies (28 CFR-115.76)

 Reporting to Inmates

The Jail Administrator or the authorized designee shall inform a victim inmate whether an allegation has been substantiated, unsubstantiated or unfounded. (28 CFR-115.73).

 If a staff member is the accused (unless the Office has determined that the allegation is unfounded) the inmate shall also be informed whenever:

(a)The staff member is no longer assigned to the inmate’s unit or employed at that facility.

(b) The Office learns that the staff member has been indicted or convicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility.

If another inmate is the accused, the alleged victim shall be notified whenever the Office learns that the alleged abuser has been indicted or convicted on a charge related to sexual abuse within the facility.

 All notifications or attempted notifications shall be documented.

 Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment between Staff and Inmates

Sexual abuse and sexual harassment between staff, volunteers or contract personnel and inmates is strictly prohibited.  The fact that an inmate may have initiated a relationship or sexual contact is not recognized as a defense to violating this policy.

 Sexual Abuse by Contractor or Volunteer

Any contractor or volunteer who engages in sexual abuse within the facility shall be immediately prohibited from having any contact with inmates.  He/she shall be promptly reported to the law enforcement agency that would investigate such allegations and brought to the attention of any relevant licensing bodies. (28 CFR 115.77).

 Sexual Abuse Victims

Inmates who are victims of sexual abuse shall be transported to the nearest appropriate location to handle the treatment of injuries, the collection of evidence and to receive crisis intervention services (28 CFR 115.82).  Depending on the severity of the injuries, transportation may occur by a staff member or by ambulance, in either case with appropriate security to protect the staff, the inmate and the public, and to prevent escape.  A victim advocate from a crisis center should be made available to the victim.  If a rape crisis center is not available, the Office shall make available a qualified member of a community-based organization, or a qualified member health care or mental health professional from this facility.  These services shall be at no cost to the victim.  Efforts to secure services from a crisis center shall be documented.

 Examination, Testing and Treatment

Examination, testing and treatment shall include the following:

(a)  Examinations shall be performed by Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), where possible.  If they are not available, the examination can be performed by other qualified medical practitioners.  The Detention Center shall document its efforts to provide SAFEs or SANEs (28 CFR 115.21)

(b) If requested by the victim, a victim advocate, qualified detention staff member or a qualified community organization staff member shall accompany the victim through the forensic medical examination process and investigatory interviews.  That person will provide emotional support, crisis intervention, information and referrals. These services shall be of no cost to the victim.

Reporting
Any third person can report an allegation of sexual abuse or sexual harassment. If you are a family member or friend of an incarcerated person and would like to report an incident that may have occurred in the Steele County Detention Center you may do so by calling the Crisis Resource Center of Owatonna at 507-446-1202 or by contacting the Jail Administrator at 507-446-7020 or Lieutenant Jen Pfeifer at 507-446-7080.  You may also contact the Law Enforcement Center 507-444-3800





If you feel you have a warrant for your arrest and would like to take care of the matter before a officer or deputy show up at your place of employment or home, you may call the Steele County Court at 507-444-7700 and ask for Court Administration, or you can call the Detention Center at 507-446-7000.

 

Detention Center Facts

CONTACT US  
Hours: 8:00 - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Email Address: lon.thiele@co.steele.mn.us
Phone: 507-446-7000
FAX: 507-446-7050
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