Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $500,000)
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 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will use its grant award to enhance several aspects of its response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act by placing video surveillance equipment in housing unit/living areas within three identified institutions. Promising practices show that the most effective method of preventing sexual violence is enhancing security measures. The security cameras requested in this proposal will meet this goal by both preventing and deterring such behavior and improving the investigation and prosecution process. In addition to enhancing the prevention and deterrent effects, this project will provide empirical data on the gaps in current security practices and provide a basis for improving operational practice.