Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $92,387)
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates a Safe Prisons/PREA Program with the primary purpose of preventing inmate-on-inmate sexual assaults and other forms of sexual abuse and violence. TDCJ has a “Zero Tolerance” policy regarding prison sexual assault and recognizes that all inmates have the right to complete their incarceration in a safe and secure environment. In 2020, the TDCJ fully implemented a web-based application titled the Safe Prisons/PREA Automated Network System (SPPANS). This system has enhanced PREA reporting processes by linking other departmental databases, expediting review processes, creating greater statistical analysis capabilities, and facilitating the tracking of inmate sexual abuse activity. TDCJ is seeking funding to enhance the PREA functions in this web-based tracking system, to revise inmate education manuals, and to enhance victim services. First, the TDCJ will use funds to develop a web-based tracking system to maintain volunteer records for compliance with the PREA standards. Additionally, the TDCJ is seeking funding to revise, retrain, and distribute English and Spanish versions of the inmate education manual to approximately 1,500 Inmate Peer Educators within the agency. Finally, TDCJ is seeking funding to enhance victim services by coordinating and developing additional partnerships with rape crisis centers, developing and maintaining memorandums of understanding (MOU’s), and coordinating and scheduling training for key agency staff and rape crisis center advocates.