Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $55,354)
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) proposes that the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ) will implement the 2021-2022 Preventing Sexual Violence and Victimization Project with the goal of further protecting juveniles served at all of SCDJJ’s secure facilities. SCDJJ’s Preventing Sexual Violence and Victimization Project is designed to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault and harassment in its five secure facilities by providing educational materials to youth and staff, also providing extensive Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and LGBTQ+ training for all SCDJJ employees, contractors, interns, and volunteers.
SCDJJ has established policies and protocols to prevent sexual abuse and harassment of youths. However, the latest data for FY 2021-2022 indicates a marginal rise in PREA-related incidents compared to previous fiscal years. In order to maintain zero tolerance for such misconduct, we recognize the importance of providing continuous education, training, and awareness of PREA standards and emerging trends in this field to our staff.
The goal of this project is to educate the staff on the latest policies and practices of PREA, with a special focus on LGBTQ+ young adults. The aim is to improve the staff's knowledge of PREA and best practices when dealing with LGBTQ+ youth, also providing them with informative documentation, posters, pamphlets, and pocket cards that can serve as quick reference guides while in the field.
SCDJJ will procure the services of an external trainer with subject matter expertise in the LGBTQ+ community and PREA standards for Juvenile Facilities. The subject matter expert will train the agency on how to safely apply standards within the secure facilities in a manner that minimizes risk for all youth, including those who identify as LGBTQ+. In addition, the subject matter expert will work closely with the agency’s Director of Professional Standards, Standards Manager, and other key staff to review and update the staffing policies, review supplemental forms and documentation, and incorporate changes and updates to the policy, as needed.