Reporting Sexual Abuse

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) establishes a zero-tolerance standard against sexual harassment, sexual assaults and rapes of incarcerated persons. It is Public Law 108-79, signed in September 2003 by President Bush.

The Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio (CCNO) supports the prosecution of persons who commit acts of sexual misconduct (staff and inmate sexual activity) and inmate on inmate sexual assault in its facility. The CCNO has developed uniform guidelines and procedures to reduce the risk of in-custody sexual assault, sexual activity and sexual harassment. The CCNO is committed to a zero-tolerance standard for sexual misconduct, sexual assault and sexual harassment. You can read CCNO's policy regarding sexual assault and misconduct here.

You can learn more about PREA at the Web site for the National PREA Resource Center.

Sexual Abuse Reporting

If you were the victim of a sexual assault while in the custody of any law enforcement agency or CCNO -- or if you know of an incident of sexual assault of a person in the custody of any law enforcement agency or CCNO -- we urge you to report the incident by contacting the CCNO Investigator at (419) 428-3800 extension 315. Please help us protect everyone from sexual abuse. Any incarcerated person may report this activity to any CCNO employee, contract employee or volunteer.

The following avenues are available to inmates to report complaints of sexual harassment or sexual abuse:

  • Verbally
  • In writing via a request to staff or grievance. There is no time limit regarding an allegation of sexual abuse.
  • Anonymously – not sign a written complaint
  • Call the CCNO hotline
  • Third party – a friend, family member, another inmate or an attorney can call CCNO. The victim must agree with the processing of the complaint.

If an inmate feels they have been sexually assaulted they have the right to report sexual assaults safely, confidentially and anonymously. If an inmate was sexually harassed or sexually abused by inmates or by staff, they may make a report without disclosing their name.

To make an anonymous report at CCNO, an inmate or a third party may report complaints in writing or verbally to staff, contract staff or volunteers.

An inmate can report an incident of sexual assault by calling the free hotline through the inmate phone system. This hotline is accessible to all inmates, and they do not need to have a phone system account to use it. The hotline will be checked by staff every day. The inmate has the right to disclose as much or as little information as they choose, but be advised that the more information is provided, the more likely it is that jail officials can take steps to prosecute the perpetrator and to keep the offender safe. By calling the hotline the inmate is helping themselves access resources to deal with the consequences of the assault and is also helping to create a safe and secure jail environment by preventing the perpetrator from assaulting others.

Inmate rights for reporting sexual assaults committed against him/her include:

  • The right to report through multiple channels and multiple staff members, in case they do not feel safe with certain staff members.
  • The right to be free of fear of reprisal or retaliation for making a report of sexual assault. If they face retaliation from inmates for reporting sexual assault, this is a crime just like the initial assault is, and they can and should report it, and appropriate action will be taken.
  • The right for all allegations of sexual assault to be kept completely confidential to protect their safety and privacy.

The inmate or third party has the responsibility to report the truth. The responsibility for staff is to investigate and respond to all allegations of sexual assault in a timely manner and to develop a response that ensures an inmate’s safety.

The CCNO will ensure that allegations of sexual abuse or sexual harassment are referred for investigation to the Williams County Sheriff’s Department for criminal investigations. Non criminal allegations will be investigated by CCNO’s trained Investigator.

All reported incidents will be investigated. You will be contacted, but you may still remain anonymous. You will need to leave the following information with the CCNO Investigator:

Telephone/Cell phone number
Specific details of the incident
Who was the victim?
How do we contact the victim if they are no longer in our facility?
Did the victim know the suspect? If so, please provide their name and contact information if known.
When and where did this happen?

This information can also be e-mailed to

Per PREA standard 115.88(c), CCNO is to prepare an annual report regarding sexual abuse allegations and provide it for the public through our website. When the report is completed and available for viewing, you can find it here.

CCNO has successfully passed our PREA audit. The auditor's final report can be read here.

2023 Summary of Sexual Victimization at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio

Inmate-on-Inmate Reported Substaintiated Unsubstaintiated Unfounded Uncooperative Total
Nonconsensual Sexual Acts 1 0 1 0 0 1
Abusive Sexual Contact 2 0 1 0 1 2
Sexual Harassment 2 0 2 0 0 2
Staff Sexual Misconduct 3 0 0 3 0 3
Staff Sexual Harassment 1 0 0 1 0 1
Total 9 0 4 4 1 9

Definitions for Aggregated Data (as outlined by the 2016 Survey of Sexual Victimization):

Inmate-on-Inmate Sexual Victimization:

  1. Nonconsensual Sexual Acts: Sexual contact of any person without his/her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse; and contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus including penetration, however slight; or contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person, however slight, by a hand, finger, object, or other instrument.
  2. Abusive Sexual Contact: Sexual contact of any person without his/her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse; and intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person. Excluding incidents in which the contact was incidental to a physical altercation.
  3. Sexual Harassment: Repeated and unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal comments, gestures, or actions of a derogatory or offensive sexual nature by one inmate directed toward another.

Staff-on-Inmate Sexual Abuse:

  1. Staff Sexual Misconduct: Any behavior or act of a sexual nature directed toward an inmate by an employee, volunteer, contractor, official visitor or other agency representative (exclude family, friends or other visitors). Sexual relationships of a romantic nature between staff and inmates are included in this definition. Consensual or nonconsensual sexual acts include - Intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks that is unrelated to official duties or with the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire; or completed, attempted, threatened, or requested sexual acts; or occurrences of indecent exposure, invasion of privacy, or staff voyeurism for reasons unrelated to official duties or for sexual gratification.
  2. Staff Sexual Harassment: Repeated verbal statements, comments or gestures of a sexual nature to an inmate by an employee, volunteer, contractor, official visitor, or other agency representative (exclude family, friends, or other visitors). Include - demeaning references to gender; or sexually suggestive or derogatory comments about body or clothing; or repeated profane or obscene language or gestures.