Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $250,000)
This project will address several problems identified during PREA audits: insufficient management of volunteers and contractors; lack of timely and thorough investigations; and safety of transgender individuals within WA State Department of Corrections. First, the DOC will implement a cloud-based database system to allow area managers to routinely review criminal background checks and training completion data to ensure all volunteers and contractors meet agency requirements. Second, the agency will secure the services of an outside consultant to develop and deploy targeted trainings for investigators based on data and expressed needs of training participants. Finally, the agency proposes to deliver a transgender awareness training across the agency, followed by the deployment of additional educational opportunities to target specific topics to build on the awareness and informational improvement within this issue. Deliverables include identified system development and training opportunities to improve investigations quality, accountability of non-agency individuals entering the facilities, and productive interactions between staff and transgender individuals. The activities associated with the grant seek to enhance incorporation into WA State Department of Corrections (DOC) culture while maximizing the likelihood of future Governor certification. While this grant will provide opportunities for staff growth and development, the ultimate benefit is intended for all individuals remanded to the custody of DOC by enhancing confidence in reporting and fostering an environment that promotes sexual safety.