Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $442,364)
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 Montana Department of Corrections' (MDOC) 'Creating a Safer Montana' project will fill resource gaps in order to implement the federally mandated Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) on a state-wide basis. The goals are to: (1) promote a zero tolerance policy; (2) model attitudes of compassion and responsibility; (3) provide comprehensive education and training to staff and offenders; (4) develop a safe and confidential communications system; (5) strengthen prevention by expanding investigative capability, developing staff resources, and installing surveillance and electronic monitoring systems; and (6) build a state-wide self-sustaining prevention education infrastructure in all MDOC adult secure facilities and programs. MDOC intends to take a broad-brush approach in applying resources that will affect the largest possible inmate population with the grant funds.