Keeping Youth Safe
Rising Ground is committed to providing safe environments for youth in our care. To support this commitment Rising Ground has created Safe Environmental Standards to ensure its Limited Secure Placement (LSP) adhere to the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards. Read our full Prevention, Detection, Responding to Sexual Misconduct, and Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Zero Tolerance Policy
Rising Ground has a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual abuse and sexual harassment of individuals. All youth and staff in Rising Ground programs have the right to be free from sexual abuse or assault, harassment, and retaliation for reporting any previous incidents and those occurring while in our care. There is no “consensual” sexual activity between staff and Rising Ground youth.
All staff members, contractors, interns, or volunteers working at Rising Ground LSP programs or having direct contact with youth at LSP programs are required to sign a form verifying their understanding of the agency’s Zero Tolerance Policy and their responsibilities as mandated reporters.
Reporting Sexual Abuse & Sexual Harassment
Youth are encouraged to report any sexual abuse or sexual harassment by another resident or by a staff member. They may report to any facility staff member, Rising Ground staff member outside the facility, to an outside organizations, the New York State Justice Center, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Ombudsman, New York City Children’s Services employees, lawyers, and to family/friends by calling these individuals directly. Youth can also place a written report/grievance by completing a grievance form and placing it in the grievance boxes located in the common areas of each LSP program.
Rising Ground accepts third-party reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment from a youth’s friends or family member, the youth’s attorney, any other member of the community, or anonymous reporters. If you suspect sexual abuse in our LSP programs, you may contact Rising Ground or external parties as provided below.
• Rising Ground PREA Coordinator
Luis Pagan, 646-477-1961
• Division Director for LSP
Emmanuel Poulard, 914-343-4593
• Program Director/PREA Compliance Manager for Carroll St. LSP
Iza Cedeno, 914-758-2073
• Email us at Complaints@RisingGround.org
• NYS Justice Center Vulnerable Persons Central Registry (VPCR)
• Crime Victims Treatment Center
Third party individuals can also report abuse by emailing us at Complaints@RisingGround.org.
All Rising Ground staff members are required to immediately report any knowledge or suspicion of sexual abuse, sexual harassment or retaliation, to their Program Director/PREA Compliance Manager, New York City Children’s Services, and the New York State Justice Center.
Anonymous reports are accepted and investigated to the extent that the information provided allows.
All reports of sexual abuse are promptly reported to and thoroughly investigated by either the New York State Justice Center or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Rising Ground conducts thorough administrative investigations on all reports/allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
If the administrative investigation identifies possible criminal behavior, State investigators and/or Rising Ground will refer it through the appropriate channels consistent with agency and State of New York expectations.
For more information on the external investigations of child abuse and neglect allegations, please visit the New York State Justice Center website at justicecenter.ny.gov.
Annual & Aggregated Sexual Abuse Data
In compliance with the PREA Standards, Rising Ground posts on this website each year’s data on the US Department of Justice Survey of Sexual Violence Summary Form regarding founded allegations of sexual abuse in our programs. Rising Ground reviews these data a minimum of annually along with other relevant information, to evaluate the effectiveness of our sexual abuse activities, policies, procedures, and training. These reviews allow agency administrators and facility program leaders to determine if any changes are warranted and identify specific actions to take regarding improving programming and the safety of youth and staff.
Rising Ground Annual PREA Progress Report
2020 Annual Report PDF: Preventing Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment at Rising Ground’s Juvenile Justice Facilities
2021 Annual Report PDF: Preventing Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment at Rising Ground’s Juvenile Justice Facilities
Rising Ground Facility PREA Audit Reports