1. When I returned home from prison in December 1998, I was relieved to be back with my family and safe from abuse. About 10 months after my release, I was contacted by internal affairs. The staff member who raped me was being investigated for sexually abusing an inmate. I was the last person they interviewed, and, it turns out, one of many women whom this man had raped. He was formally charged with rape and, following a five-year trial, convicted. I hope the man who raped me is kept safe in prison.

    I hope that if he is harassed, abused or threatened, he can get help. Thanks to the standards — and the courage and hard work of survivors — we’re closer than ever to ensuring that no one, not even my rapist, ever has to go through what I did.

  2. The new rules, which were given the force of an executive order, are a clear improvement over a draft version. If monitored and enforced, they could help curb the assaults that are shamefully endemic to the corrections system….A state whose governor does not fully comply with the rules could lose 5 percent of any Department of Justice grant funds for prisons. If humanity is not enough to get prison systems to change their policies, maybe that penalty will work. Rape must not be part of a prison sentence.
  3. Ten percent. From the report:

    Among former state prisoners, the rate of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization was at least three times higher for females (13.7 percent) than males (4.2 percent).

    Homosexual and bisexual male former prisoners reported high rates of victimization by other inmates. Thirty-nine percent of homosexual or gay males and 34 percent of bisexual males reported inmate-on-inmate victimization, compared to 3.5 percent of heterosexual males.

    The rate of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization for males was higher among inmates of two or more races (9.5 percent) and white non-Hispanic inmates (5.9 percent) than black non-Hispanic inmates (2.9 percent) and Hispanic inmates (2.7 percent).

    Rates of staff sexual misconduct were higher for male inmates of two or more races (11.3 percent) and black non-Hispanic inmates (6.5 percent) than for white non-Hispanic inmates (4.5 percent) and Hispanic inmates (4.0 percent).

    If you don’t already donate to Just Detention International, and you can afford to, you should.

  4. Ha ha remember when I used to write funny things and hadn’t lost my last shred of hope for humanity? No? Me neither.

  5. thegreatpumpkin:

    ‘Bout time. Now about that slut thing…

    Yeah, no kidding.

  6. Laughing about men raping men in prison continues to be disturbingly normative. Consider for example David Letterman’s top 10 list about former Illinois Governor Blagojevich. Two of the ten are references to the hilarious possibility that Blagojevich will be sexually assaulted by other inmates, ha ha ha. It is to laugh. Not. The former Governor should go to prison as punishment for the awful things he did. But he does not deserve to be raped in prison. No one does. And the prevalence of this human rights violation is something we should all be ashamed of rather than snigger over. Even if you are cruel enough not to care about what happens to people in prison, consider your self-interest: Do you want more of the hundreds of thousands of people who return to communities from incarceration to come back traumatized and enraged, as well as possibly infected with Hepatitis or HIV?

  7. It only takes a second.

  8. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has embraced a number of important reforms, including some that have been opposed by the corrections industry. These include: a zero-tolerance policy for rape and sexual abuse behind bars; a prohibition on cross-gender pat-downs and strip searches of juveniles; background checks for corrections officers to ferret out past incidents of inmate abuse; a requirement that every corrections facility designate an on-site PREA coordinator; and the conclusion that PREA covers not just rape but a broader category of sexual abuse, as well.

    But Mr. Holder and the department have been reluctant to take steps that would ensure the spirit, as well as the letter, of PREA is faithfully followed. For example, the department should mandate that cross-gender pat-downs and strip searches of adults, as well as cross-gender observation of inmates in bathroom facilities, are used only when necessary. Correctional facilities should be required to keep tabs on sexual assaults and how they are dealt with, but they should not be permitted to exclusively police themselves; they should be subject to outside audits. Mr. Holder also should recommend that immigration detention centers be covered by the regulations; everyone in government custody — regardless of the type of institution — should be protected against rape and sexual abuse.

  9. Sigrid Adameit, a former transportation guard at Willacy, told FRONTLINE that cover-ups of sexual and physical abuse were pervasive at Willacy. One day, she said, a manager called her in to transport a female detainee who claimed she’d been raped. Adameit came in to work while the detainee was still in the medical unit receiving a rape kit. Adameit said the manager asked her to find the next flight out for the detainee. “Make sure nobody talks to her,” he said. “Don’t say nothing to her. Just get her in the van and meet up with the U.S. Marshals up at the airport.’” FRONTLINE asked ICE for results of all positive rape kits at Willacy, but the agency did not respond to our request. The company that runs Willacy for the government, Management Training Corporation (MTC), declined our request for comments about operations at Willacy.
  10. At Mother Jones:

    Gov. Rick Perry did not take swift action to address the problem, which his office knew about for years. Allegations of systematic mistreatment at TYC facilities first came to the Governor’s desk in 2001, when then-Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) forwarded along a complaint that his office had received. That was six years before media coverage of the conditions in juvenile detention centers launched a public scandal. And critics of Perry, who is now a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, point out that he received tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and executives for a firm tied to some of the worst abuses.