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Commission Examines Not-So-Funny Reality of Prison Rape

I find the topic of sexual abuse in prisons both depressing and compelling. On "the outside," rape is viewed as the price a convict should expect to pay for his or her crime. References to prison in everyday conversations or popular culture (like this soap as promotional product for the TV show Prison Break) typically involve jokes about rape. Once a criminal is involved, it seems like it's suddenly OK to joke about an otherwise taboo topic.

Although pop cultural references to sexual abuse in prison tend to be lighthearted and humorous, prison rape is a serious problem deserving attention. A federal commission was set up to look into prison rape, and the numbers are startling. According to the report released today, at least 60,000 inmates are sexually abused every year.

Based on the research, more prisoners claimed abuse by staff than by other inmates. In addition, short, young, gay, or female inmates were more likely to be victimized than other inmates.


Hopefully the common sense guidelines offered by the commission, such as strict background checks for staff and medical attention for victims, will keep inmates (who are human beings just like everyone else) safer and address the challenges prison rape presents to public health and inmate rehabilitation efforts.


Join The Conversation
gaulearnedimp gaulearnedimp 8 years
Aside from the obvious problems with prison rape, America also has far too many inmates, many of whom are serving time for non-violent crimes. Imagine getting HIV as a result of being locked up for having a bit of pot, or from a klepto bout during your angry anti-corporation vigilante days.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
tarynitup - a lot of people forget that. The numbers of people leaving prison with lifelong STI's are on the rise. Most people would agree with the child rapists getting the same done to them but what happens when the group with the highest recidivism rate gets out? There is a higher chance that these children will be infected with these diseases. Rape is not acceptable when it happens to anyone. I say the same as everyone but because you get put in jail doesn't mean you should be subjected to that
tarynitup tarynitup 8 years
One problem with the eye for an eye argument is that when these people get out of jail they pose a serious publich health risk (as the writer of the article said) due to exposure to and lack of treatment of STI's including HIV and AIDS. Also, being subjected to abuse every day probably makes someone more inclined to abuse others. Which is another threat to public health.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
honestly, smacks,I feel the same way. robbed a bank? leave them alone. abused a seven year old? you should get raped every day.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I was thinking that too GeekSugar. You only ever hear it rg. men. I'm conflicted in how I feel to be honest about the whole thing. I normally never think anyone should be raped or brutilized, but then you hear stories of grown men raping little kids and stuff and suddenly I'm in a grey area on the topic. IMHO.
Tech Tech 8 years
it's interesting that when people joke about prison rape, it's generally only men getting raped that's referenced.
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