Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $250,000)
The Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is the chief law enforcement agency in Broward County. BSO serves our community with law enforcement, detention, and fire rescue services to the Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood Airport, the Broward County Courthouse, Port Everglades, unincorporated areas of Broward County, and 13 local municipalities via contracted provisions. It is the largest fully accredited sheriff’s office, and its Department of Detention (DOD) operates the 13th largest jail system in the United States. BSO is the second largest institution to have earned national accreditation from the American Correctional Association. The agency is also accredited by Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. Annually, approximately 41,982 inmates crossing every ethnic, religious, age, and socioeconomic group are booked into BSO’s jails for crimes ranging from civil infractions to capital crimes. BSO operates four facilities with an average daily population system-wide of 3500.
Our agency strives to provide the highest quality of care, custody, and control of the entire inmate population. We are committed to safeguarding inmates from sexual victimization while they are in our facilities. In our last PREA Audit Report conducted in July 2021, it indicated DOD was free from audit findings. What was revealed from the data of our own 2021 PREA Annual report is that inmates are mostly reporting incidents or misconduct that are non-PREA related.
The PREA Ed Project is BSO’s proposal to improve inmate PREA awareness through innovative thinking in training, policies, and practices. This project will address two priority considerations of the award. The project will first address embracing new tactics to disseminate PREA education information by (1) installing audio speakers and TV monitors in the booking and holding areas for broadcasting PREA-related content. (2) The implementation of a pilot PREA Peer Education Program as a part of inmate orientation. This serves to not only inform new inmates about facility policies and procedures to keep them safe but also allows inmates as peer educators to play a pivotal role in changing the culture from within.
The second priority consideration proposed in this project is the hiring of an Accountability Specialist whose role will be to specifically focus on all PREA related matters- coordinating DOD’s efforts to comply with PREA Standards and implementation. The position will also be responsible for the execution of the PREA Peer Education Program.