Polk County Community, Family & Youth Services

PREA Investigations

The Polk County Juvenile Detention Center (PCJDC) Program Administrator will ensure that all reports of sexual abuse are investigated promptly, thoroughly, and objectively for all allegations including third-party and anonymous reports.

Reports of resident on resident sexual abuse and staff on resident sexual abuse will be reported to local law enforcement for criminal investigation.  All PCJDC staff shall cooperate with outside investigators and shall endeavor to remain informed about the progress of the investigation.

Administrative Investigations 

The Program Administrator will conduct administrative investigations after receiving reports of any type of abuse or harassment to determine whether staff actions or failures to act contributed to the abuse/harassment.

Investigations shall be documented in written reports that include a description of the physical and testimonial evidence, the reasoning behind credibility assessments, and investigative facts and findings.

PCJDC shall retain all written reports referenced above for as long as the alleged abuser is incarcerated or employed by the agency, plus five years. The departure of the alleged abuser or victim from employment or control of the facility shall not provide a basis for termination of the investigation.

Sexual harassment behavior which could potentially rise to the level of criminal behavior as defined by Iowa Code Section 708.7, will be referred for investigation by local law enforcement (Polk County Sheriff).  Non-criminal investigations shall be investigated administratively and any findings of fact shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination.  

Evidentiary Standard 

PCJDC shall impose no standard higher than a preponderance of the evidence in determining whether allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are substantiated.

Reporting Investigation Findings to Residents

Following an investigation into a resident’s allegation of sexual abuse suffered at PCJDC, the Program Administrator will inform the resident as to whether the allegation has been determined to be substantiated, unsubstantiated, or unfounded.

If the investigation was conducted by a local law enforcement agency, the Program Administrator will request the relevant information in order to inform the resident. Following a resident’s allegation that a staff member has committed sexual abuse against the resident, the center Program Administrator will inform the resident (and document notification) if and when:

  • The staff member is no longer posted within the resident’s unit
  • The staff member is no longer employed by the facility
  • PCJDC learns that the staff member has been indicted and/or convicted on a sexual abuse charge

Following a resident’s allegation that another resident has committed sexual abuse against the resident, the center Program Administrator will inform the resident (and document notification) if and when:

  • PCJDC learns that the alleged abuser has been indicted on the related sexual abuse charge
  • PCJDC learns that the alleged abuser has been convicted on the related sexual abuse charge
Notifications will only be made if the resident is still in the custody of PCJDC.

Contact Us

Community & Family Division
Polk County River Place
2309 Euclid Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50310
515-286-3434

Youth Services Division
Juvenile Detention 515-286-3344
Centralized Intake 515-286-3350
1548 Hull Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316