Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $249,938)
PADOC requests funding for the “Creating, Implementing, and Sharing a Validated PREA Assessment” project. The goals of this project are to analyze prior incidents of sexual abuse and sexual harassment to create a nationally recognized, validated risk assessment tool; to provide features in the risk assessment application that aid staff in sustaining PREA compliance; and to enhance data collection capabilities to continually identify the most predictive risk factors to better prevent sexual harassment and abuse before it happens. PADOC currently uses two tools for PREA compliance in its institutions: the PREA Risk Assessment Tool (PRAT), and the PREA Tracking System (PTS). As the result of a 2018 and 2020 audit, PADOC was made aware that PREA risk assessments were not being completed in a timely fashion; that some of its risk assessment questions were worded in problematic ways; and that an inmate’s score on the PRAT, when compared with substantiated incidences, provided no predictive factors in assessing whether an inmate is more or less likely to become a victim or abuser. PADOC will further use funding to train staff on upgrades to the PRAT and PTS. Finally, PADOC will disseminate its validated assessment to local, state, and national partners. The findings from validating the PRAT, the new questions included, and the data points pulled from PTS will be shared with partners to allow localities and states to better update their own tools. $250,286 in match will be provided to support the grant activities via the PADOC PREA Coordinators time, additional PREA staff time, as well as training for staff on the updated tools.