Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why We Let Prison Rape Go On (New York Times, opinion pages)
By CHANDRA BOZELKOAPRIL 17, 2015
     IT’S been called “America’s most ‘open’ secret”: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, around 80,000 women and men a year are sexually abused in American correctional facilities. That number is almost certainly subject to underreporting, through shame or a victim’s fear of retaliation. Overall, only 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police in 2010, and the rate of reporting in prisons is undoubtedly lower still.
     To tackle the problem, Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003. The way to eliminate sexual assault, lawmakers determined, was to make Department of Justice funding for correctional facilities conditional on states’ adoption of zero-tolerance policies toward sexual abuse of inmates.
. . .
     But only two states — New Hampshire and New Jersey — have fully complied with the act. Forty-seven states and territories have promised that they will do so. Using Justice Department data, the American Civil Liberties Union estimated that from 2003 to 2012, when the law’s standards were finalized, nearly two million inmates were sexually assaulted.
     Six Republican governors have neglected or refused to comply, complaining of cost and other factors....
. . .
     According to Allen Beck, senior statistical adviser at the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “institutional culture and facility leadership may be key factors in determining the level of victimization.” Rape persists, in other words, because it’s the cultural wallpaper of American correctional facilities. We preserve the abuse because we’re down with perps getting punished in the worst ways….

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've probably noticed that's it's a pervasive joke that when so and so goes to jail, he'll have a cellmate named "Bubba" who will have a good old time with so and so. Like it's funny and all that some fellow will be repeatedly sodomized, and that'll show him. Who are these people?

Anonymous said...

They are the descendents of the people who attended public executions and cheered.

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