Sunday, June 28, 2009

States Which Don't Follow Prison Rape Prevention Guidelines

WASHINGTON - States receiving federal money for prisons could see their funding cut if they fail to adopt new measures to reduce sexual violence in correctional and detention facilities nationwide, according to a report released Tuesday.

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission issued an extensive report, five years in making, that found that more than 60,000 inmates are sexually abused every year.

Based on a 2007 survey of tens of thousands of incarcerated people, 4.5 percent of those surveyed reported being sexually abused in the previous 12 months — and more prisoners claimed abuse by staff than by other inmates.
The work of this commission is important, but even the best analysis cannot reduce violence if that analysis isn't applied systematically. With the cuts being made in other areas by states with budget shortfalls it would be easy to drop existing violence reducing efforts before this compliance rule kicks in if those programs are seen as optional.

It's important for those who want to prevent prison rape to acknowledge that prison rape goes far beyond the easy stereotypes and tasteless jokes. Prison rape doesn't just happen to men in prison and it isn't only committed by other prisoners.

And it is important for those who have no sympathy for those who are raped while incarcerated to realize that disregard for certain rape victims by those assigned to uphold the law sends a dangerous message to inmates who are least likely to be victims of prison rape.

Convicted rapists, whether victimized personally or not, might view prison rape as proof that they are no worse than anybody else and the only difference is they got caught.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:09 AM   2 comments links to this post


At June 29, 2009 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post about Prison rape. In Austin, Texas the local police substation has a crime prevention poster in it's hallway bulletin board that shows six examples of prison life such as razor wire, a prison cell, an orange jump suit and lo and behold a bar of recently used soap with suds lying on a shower drain. Everyone knows the social references that men have about dropping a bar of soap in jail or prison. The subtitle is "What exactly do you miss about prison?"
I was so appalled that I snapped a photo of it on my cell phone. The message is clearly alluding to prison rape and seeing it on a poster at the police department is deeply disturbing to me as it appears to be advertising and/or advocating prison rape as a deterrent to comitting crimes. I am not FOR criminals but I do believe that our prison systems are creating monsters out of men and women. It is part of the cycle of violence in our culture and these attitudes, especially by the police department should be abolished. I still have the photo if anyone is interested.

At June 29, 2009 5:45 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Anonymous, I can understand why you were appalled. The attitude behind that poster helps to explain why the majority of prison rapists are employees not fellow inmates.


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