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 Idaho Department of Correction (IDOC) and the Idaho County Jail, under a 2004 federal grant, implemented a project entitled 'Maintaining Dignity,' which focused on education efforts for both staff and inmates within Idaho's institutional populations. In partnership with each other under the original grant, the Idaho County jails have been very active in the process of developing jail standards and providing education to their staff. This collaboration was an essential piece of the implementation not only because IDOC relies on the county jail system to accommodate overflows, but also because both systems serve the same offender base. The goals, funded with this grant award, are: (1) identify target population to decrease victimization; (2) provide staff to work with target population; (3) enhance data collection and information capabilities to protect inmates and community; (4) enhance investigations staff and training to increase the likelihood of prosecution; and (5) continue and expand community education to promote awareness and community safety.