New Government Report on Sexual Abuse of Inmates

The Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, today released a report, "Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates,2008-09, available here.

The report is required by the The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79) which directs the the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to conduct "a comprehensive statistical review and analysis of the incidents and effects of prison rape for each calendar year," and to "provide a list of prisons and jails according to the prevalence of sexual victimization."

The findings: 90,000 inmates, more than 4 percent of prison inmates and over 3 percent of jail inmates, reported being sexually victimized in custody. [More....]

_Female inmates were more than twice as likely as male inmates to report experiencing sexual victimization by another inmate.

Among inmates who reported victimization by another inmate, 13 percent of male prison inmates and 19 percent of male jail inmates said they were victimized within the first 24 hours after being admitted to a corrections facility. In contrast, the figure for women was 4 percent for prison and jail.

And by sexual orientation:

Inmates with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual reported significantly higher rates of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization and staff sexual misconduct.

The definition of "sexual victimization" and other terms used is on page 7, which is also where the charts begin. Which prisons and jails are the worst?

Among male prisons, Hughes Unit (Texas) recorded an inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization rate of 8.6%, and Allred Unit (Texas) recorded a rate of 7.6%. Among female prisons, Taycheedah Correctional Institution (Wisconsin) had a rate of 11.9%, and Fluvanna Correctional Center (Virginia) had a rate of 11.4%.

Orleans Parish - South White Street Jail (Louisiana), a female-only facility, recorded an inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization rate of 7.5%, which was 5 times the average rate among jails nationwide. Madison County Detention Facility (Alabama) reported a rate of 5.5%.

Prisons and jails with the greatest sexual misconduct by staff against inmates:

8.2% of males in Crossroads Correctional Facility (Missouri), 8.1% of males in Attica Correctional Facility (New York), and 11.5% of females in Bayview Correctional Facility (New York). Two jails, Caroline County Jail (Maryland) with 10.0% and Eastern Shore Regional Jail (Virginia) with 9.9%, had rates of reported staff sexual misconduct that exceeded 8%.

Another interesting statistic: Reports of staff sexual misconduct were linked to strip searches and pat downs:

Victims of staff sexual misconduct were asked if they touched a facility staff person’s body or had their body touched in a sexual way. Regardless of whether they had wanted it to occur or not, nearly two-thirds of all victims of staff sexual misconduct in prison and jail reported at least one incident of sexual touching. An estimated 38,270 inmates reported such touching in the last 12 months or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months.

Another reason why this policy of degrading body cavity searches has to go.

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  • Display: Sort:
    and those (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    are just the "reported" ones, yes?


    It seems like we have only passed (none / 0) (#2)
    by Buckeye on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    a research/data collection bill.  Why have we not passed legislation/programs that stop it (or have we, I am not aware of them, and they have not worked).

    With the technology available today, it does not seem like it would be that difficult to stop this - especially staff members.

    Yep... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 02:36:03 PM EST
    the classic stall tactic when you don't wanna deal with an inconvenient truth.

    If we really cared about sexual abuse in prison, the course of action is simple...stop filling prisons to such a degree.  Instant reduction of potential victims.


    No logic here (none / 0) (#4)
    by diogenes on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 12:20:36 PM EST
    Why not videocameras everywhere, no expectation of privacy, and solitary confinement for those convicted of sexually abusing other prisoners?  If I were in prison, I would find such policies to be greatly relieving.  How would you people like to be guarded in prison?