Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $568,538)
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.
In response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, the Director of the Missouri Department of Corrections chartered the Prison Rape Elimination Act Team in 2004. The mission of the team is to establish an environment where offenders are safe from sexual victimization during their incarceration. Funding will be used for equipment, supplies, imaging machines and corresponding software and licenses, portable tablet computers, docking stations for investigators, surveillance equipment and portable computers for Division of Adult Institutions Central Office staff to review surveillance footage. The updated camera and recording equipment will aid in the investigation of alleged incidents. The goals and objectives are as follows:
'Improve investigation techniques as a deterrent to staff and inmate sexual misconduct;
'Increased prosecutions to further establish an environment in which all substantiated sexual assaults are referred for prosecution and then prosecuted; and
'Improve facilities to reduce or eliminate areas of opportunity where offenders are vulnerable to sexual assault.