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  1. Home
  2. About CBP
  3. Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)
  4. Investigative Protocols for Allegations of Sexual Abuse and/or Assault

Investigative Protocols for Allegations of Sexual Abuse and/or Assault

CBP takes all allegations of sexual abuse and/or assault of individuals in CBP custody seriously, to include sexual abuse and/or assault allegations as defined in the DHS Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Sexual Abuse and Assault in Confinement Facilities, 6 C.F.R. Part 115, (the "DHS Standards").  Under a uniform system, all allegations of sexual abuse and/or assault in a CBP holding facility are documented and referred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), for independent review and assessment.  Some allegations are retained by the DHS OIG for investigation while others are referred back to CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), Investigative Operations Division (IOD), for investigation.

CBP OPR IOD conducts the sexual abuse and/or assault investigation in coordination with applicable federal, state or local law enforcement authorities.  During the course of all sexual abuse and/or assault investigations, evidence is collected and preserved in accordance with DHS and CBP policies.  CBP OPR IOD thoroughly documents and memorializes the investigation in the CBP OPR case management system.  Sexual abuse and/or assault investigations are conducted by specially trained, qualified investigators in accordance with OPR IOD policies and procedures to include interviews of alleged victims, suspected perpetrators, witnesses and review of any available video surveillance.

Sexual abuse and/or assault case records are maintained in an electronic system of records in accordance with the DHS Standards and applicable policies, and in accordance with established schedules.  The DHS OIG maintains the official investigative file related to claims of sexual abuse and/or assault investigated by the DHS OIG.  Data collected pursuant to 6 C.F.R. §115.187 is securely retained in accordance with agency record retention policies and CBP protocol regarding investigation of sexual abuse and/or assault allegations.

In criminal cases, CBP OPR IOD, as appropriate, will ensure that any alleged victim of sexual abuse and/or assault who is a noncitizen is provided timely access to U nonimmigrant status information.

Last Modified: Sep 13, 2021