In 2020, as required by the PREA statute, BJA competitively awarded PREA grants to state, local, and tribal agencies to implement plans for creating and expanding “zero-tolerance” cultures for sexual abuse and sexual harassment, including comprehensive approaches to prevention, detection, and responses to incidents of sexual abuse, prioritizing unaddressed gaps either programmatically or through changes in policy and procedures, as they relate to implementation of the PREA standards.
The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) will use project funds to pay for PREA audits and internal mock audits. CDOC will provide inmate educate on sexual safety through Blue Bench, a sexual assault prevention and support center, to women admitted to the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility. CDOC will install shower curtains, privacy screens, and other materials to maintain inmate privacy, in addition to purchasing cameras to deter and detect sexual abuse in facilities.
The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has three goals for this project: (1) create PREA resources for vulnerable inmates with accessibility issues (inmates who are hearing- or vision-impaired, have a mental health condition, or not English language proficient) per PREA Standard 115.116); (2) develop enhanced training videos for staff and educational videos for inmates that are consistent with GDC operations and PREA standards; and (3) conduct a thorough examination of current investigation processes and training to improve investigations.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Juvenile Justice’s (LAOJJ) project, "Sustaining PREA through Staffing Analysis: Louisiana’s Next Step toward Zero Tolerance," seeks to improve safety in its secure juvenile facilities by hiring an expert consultant to conduct an extensive staffing analysis. The consultant will produce a report that will advise LAOJJ on how to maintain PREA-compliant staffing ratios and sustain a comprehensive and detailed staffing plan. LAOJJ also plans to use funds for the development of a staffing-analysis training module and pilot a training for all staff who conduct staffing analysis.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections’ project will improve security at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) and South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) by utilizing a video surveillance system to reduce the likelihood of sexual assaults, physical assaults, and deaths within the facility.
The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (OCJC) proposes the use of federal funds to support its project, "Adults in Custody, Resident, and Employee Sexual Abuse and Retaliation Reporting; Training, Awareness, and Tracking.” The Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) and Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) will be subrecipients and will use funds to update PREA educational materials, as well as increase staff training and awareness regarding transgender and intersex residents. Additionally, ODOC will fund critical updates to its offender management systems to allow for tracking of incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment, retaliation monitoring, transgender and intersex inmate reviews, and screening for risk of victimization and aggressiveness. OYA will develop and streamline critical reporting mechanisms, such as an improved multi-lingual reporting hotline.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is seeking funding to streamline and automate risk assessment screenings and other PREA reporting processes in TDCJ’s Safe Prisons/PREA Automated Network System (SPPANS) through the acquisition and utilization of tablets. SPPANS enhances PREA reporting processes by linking departmental databases, expediting review processes, and creating greater statistical analysis capabilities. Interviewers will be able to enter risk screening assessments directly into SPPANS through the tablet for instant viewing by appropriate classification staff members. Additionally, the tablets will allow for enhanced reporting and monitoring
The Utah Department of Human Services, Division of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) will use grant funds to (1) contract with experts to review current PREA policies and procedures and coach JJS leadership; (2) educate and train youth, staff, and contractors on PREA standards; (3) create printed and digital materials on PREA standards; and (4) create web-based PREA training for employees, volunteers, and
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC) will use federal funds to assign a dedicated PREA compliance manager to a cluster of four diverse facilities. The four selected facilities are geographically close and represent each of the agency’s facility types (i.e. reception, maximum, medium, and minimum). The PREA compliance manager will be responsible for chairing the county’s PREA sexual assault response team, piloting an inmate/peer-led education program, and developing a series of investigation refresher tools and educational programs for staff trained to investigate sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Finally, WIDOC will use grant funds to purchase additional video monitoring technology to supplement vulnerable physical plant spaces, which are currently monitored by staff supervision, locked doors, or controlled movement.
The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) will use federal funds to expedite facility improvements to promote a safer environment through the purchase of privacy aids (like shower curtains) and increased video surveillance. MDC will provide inmates with improved education and information on reporting, which will be accessible for Spanish- speaking and Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations and streamline contractor and volunteer PREA training. MDC will also use funds to identify specific MDC populations vulnerable to sexual abuse and improve data collection and management. Additionally, MDC will use funds to establish a PREA investigation team by partially covering the salary of one investigator.
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office’s (BCSO) project, “PREA Standards Implementation Program,” will use the results of a mock PREA audit conducted by a DOJ-certified PREA auditor in October 2018 to create a comprehensive plan for achieving compliance with PREA standards. BCSO’s identified needs include providing additional privacy through the creation of an inmate work program to produce shower curtains, as well as creating a new investigator position dedicated to completing all PREA-related investigations. Additionally, BCSO will use federal funds to hire an additional full-time PREA Compliance Officer to ensure that policies and practices are applied uniformly across all facilities.
The Essex County Sheriff's Department (ECSD) will use federal funds to collaborate with its medical/mental health provider, WellPath, to strengthen its response to reported and unreported sexual assault of incarcerated individuals by addressing policy, training, and program implementation. ECSD will use funding to hire a master’s degree-level PREA Mental Health Clinician to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse and sexual harassment in our facilities. Additionally, this funding will allow correctional officers to attend Sexual Assault Investigation Training, offered through the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. Additional funds will be used to enhance inmate safety by installing cameras in blind spots.
The Henderson County Detention Center (HCDC) will use the majority of federal funds to hire a PREA coordinator. HCDC will also use funds for PREA-related training, specifically regarding the sexual safety of transgender inmates. HCDC will work with its tablet-based GTL/Telmate system to provide resources and educational materials for inmates in regards to PREA and sexual safety.
The City of Richmond Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) will use federal funds to focus on victim-centered service provisions, coupled with enhanced staff training on PREA standards and upgraded facility resources that meet or exceed PREA standards. RCSO intends to develop and implement a PREA- compliant staffing plan, designate a PREA Coordinator, implement a trauma-informed approach to mental healthcare and mental health screening, ensure all inmates receive information and education regarding PREA, and enter into agreements with victim advocacy and mental health agencies.
The Tippecanoe County Government intends to use federal funds to increase sexual safety in its facility by creating internal and external teams to determine what policies, training, screening tools, and “visual improvements” are require for PREA compliance. Law enforcement officers, mental health providers, victim advocates, and prosecutors will comprise an external team. These teams will use policy guides and the DOJ-created Audit Compliance Tool (ACT) to achieve implementation. The agency will also use funds for the purchase of surveillance and body-worn cameras. Additionally, the agency will create a Memorandum of Understandings and provide financial assistance for Victim Advocates and SANE Nurses.
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections’ “PREA Improvement Project (DPIP)” will use federal funds to expand video surveillance, improve staff training, and improve inmate education on sexual safety and PREA standards. The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault has agreed to collaborate with the New Hampshire Department of Corrections to update the current PREA training programs to include comprehensive “trauma-informed” and “gender-based” curricula while assuring evidence-based practices are utilized. Additionally, specialized training will be provided to leadership and intake screening staff to improve inmate intake processes to secure and enhance the ability to identify those who are at risk of sexual victimization or have already been victimized.
The Puerto Rico Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DCRGPR) will provide training courses for staff in 29 correctional facilities and inmate education to 35 percent of the incarcerated population in a classroom setting. Training and education modules will be created in English and Spanish along with pamphlets, posters, and manuals.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) will improve upon current PREA implementation by hiring a PREA Accountability Specialist, transforming an office in the current Investigations Unit into one focused on PREA with increased privacy and links to cameras in all four detention facilities. BSO will also send an increased number of staff to annual PREA training programs and produce a PREA educational video for inmates and new arrestees.
Carroll County will address strategies to promote and institutionalize new PREA policies; purchase preventive infrastructure and technology enhancements; improve inmate education; institutionalize victim support services; improve staff training on evidence, crime scene protection, and report documentation; and fund PREA audits.
The County of Bucks will fund the “Bucks County PREA Implementation Plan.” The department seeks to hire additional staff members to focus time exclusively on PREA implementation, increase staff capacity in prevention techniques, integrate PREA standards in daily operations, and identify the need to have a valid risk assessment tool to assist in reducing sexual abuse and sexual harassment cases.
The Somerset County Sheriff's Office will use project funds to update its facility's security surveillance system and begin the process of preparing for a PREA audit. Additionally, it will use funds to implement a facility-specific staffing plan, add different reporting mechanisms, establish an inmate education program, establish a partnership with an outside victim advocate group and counseling services, update staff training, and incorporate technology to improve PREA implementation efforts.