Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $72,594)
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, as State Administering Agency for the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, will be the grantee. DOJ will sub-grant these funds totaling $72,594.00 to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WIDOC).
WIDOC is committed to complying with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) in its adult facilities. The WIDOC has an adult inmate population of over 22,000, housed in 35 facilities. In addition to the facilities under the operational control of WIDOC, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) operates one facility which houses WIDOC inmates in need of specialized mental health care. All of these facilities are subject to the adult prisons and jails PREA standards.
During first three audit cycles, all WIDOC adult facilities underwent an audit conducted by a United States Department of Justice certified PREA auditor. By August 2022 (nearly the close of the third cycle), all but five adult facilities have successfully demonstrated fully compliance with the PREA standards. The remaining five are currently in a period of corrective action. Fourteen audits are scheduled during the first year of Audit Cycle IV. Thereafter, the agency will continue to audit 12 facilities annually.
While WIDOC has shown progress in implementing the PREA standards; maintaining compliance is a priority. To achieve full compliance with the standards, the agency must continue to audit one-third of its facilities each year.
WIDOC is seeking funding to pay for audit consortium-related (i.e. West Coast Consortium) travel. Consortium participation allows for greater inter-agency collaboration and reduced audit-related expenses. However, the task of auditing has grown significantly more complex and burdensome. While the direct cost of consortium participation is limited to staff travel, the indirect costs include staff time, which have increased considerably. To minimize the effect of this onerous task, WIDOC is seeking additional funds to contract with an external auditor for four adult facilities.
The agency also wishes to purchase supplies to maintain compliance and in response to audit feedback. Items may include training and education supplies; cross-gender announcing systems; and video monitoring technology. Finally, WIDOC will send a representative(s) from the PREA Office to attend the annual National PREA Coordinator Conference and West Coast Consortium Annual Meeting.