Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $178,400)
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 mission statement of the Wyoming Department of Corrections states: 'The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) contributes to public safety by exercising reasonable, safe, secure, and humane management, while actively providing offenders opportunities to become law-abiding citizens'. The WDOC recognizes the need to protect offenders from harm as part of our overall mission. To that end, the WDOC's goals and objectives for the FY 2006 Protecting Inmates and Safeguarding Communities Discretionary Grant Program are as follows: (1) develop training standards for inmates & staff; (2) increase communications between local law enforcement, WDOC, and the prosecutor's office; (3) ensure that offenders released from facilities to the community are assessed if there exists a record of predatory sexual behaviors; (4) ensure that appropriate community services are available to offenders transitioning back into the community; (5) increase camera and monitoring equipment with in the facilities to reduce blind areas where incidents of sexual misconduct could potentially take place; (6) organize a statewide PREA Collaboration Conference to include human services agencies, WDOC, detention facility administrators, and others affected by the PREA; (7) complete a tracking data base to provide more complete data on all incidents of sexual misconduct between offenders and between offenders and staff to ensure accurate reporting on annual reports to Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); and (8) develop program sustainability through sound financial planning.