Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $1,000,000)
The Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Discretionary Grant Program was created as a result of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (the Act), Public Law 108-79. The goal of the Act is to eradicate sexual assaults in all of the correctional facilities in this country, be they federal, state, or local in nature. Nevertheless, the statutory focus for this grant program is state and local correctional facilities. This program is divided into two parts: (1) Protecting Inmates and (2) Safeguarding Communities. The Protecting Inmates part focuses on providing funding to state and local agencies for the costs of personnel, training, technical assistance, and data collection in the areas of prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of victims of inmate on inmate sexual assault in a correctional facility. The Safeguarding Communities component of the program focuses on assisting the states in developing and implementing strategies when making release decisions for sexual aggressors without compromising public safety and addressing the needs of the victims after release.
The Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehablilitation (DCR) goals are to improve the procedures by which sexual assaults(aggressions), either by inmate-on-inmate or staff-on-inmate are reported, investigated, or prosecuted. Additionally, the DCR will enhance their monitoring techniques by installing sophisticated cameras in high incidence areas inside correctional facilities. The recorded activity, may give an incentive to local prosecutors to pursue substantiated accusations. The updated cameras and recorders will, in addition to providing prosecutors with greater and more persuasive evidence, also ensure greater safety for the staff patrolling areas of limited visibility.