Sexual Abuse in Detention Facilities

Sexual Abuse in Detention Facilities

For a thorough definition of sexual assault, please visit the SEXUAL ASSAULT & SEXUAL HARASSMENT page.  Below you will find information and resources specific to those who have experienced sexual assault while incarcerated.

It’s difficult to find resources about rape in detention facilities because it does not receive the attention it deserves.  Many of the resources listed on this page come from the Just Detention International website, which is full of important information.  This page also includes articles that shed light on the plight of many inmates who face sexual assault every day.  Below is an excerpt addressing this point from the Just Detention International website:

Many people still believe that inmates deserve to be sexually assaulted. Others think that prisoner rape somehow deters crime, or that prisoner rape is irrelevant to their lives, because it happens behind bars. Some even think that prisoner rape is funny. Each of these ideas is incorrect – dangerously so – but the misconceptions thrive because the general public knows little about the real story of sexual abuse in detention.
~Excerpt from Just Detention International website.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (excerpt taken from Just Detention International)
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA ), passed unanimously by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003, is the first federal civil law to address sexual violence behind bars. PREA ’s requirements apply to all detention facilities, including federal and state prisons, jails, police lock-ups, private facilities, and immigration detention centers.2

PREA states that sexual assault in detention can constitute a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and requires that facilities adopt a zero-tolerance approach to this form of abuse.3 The law calls for the development of national standards addressing prisoner rape, the gathering of nationwide statistics about the problem, the provision of grants to states to combat it, and the creation of a review panel to hold annual public hearings with the best and the worst performing corrections facilities.4  Continue Reading About PREA

Resources from Just Detention International
Fact Sheets
Most Recent PREA Update
Self Help Resources
Survivor Testimony: Portraits of Courage

Additional Resources
Women and Prison
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape: Prison Rape
New York Times: Panel on Prison Rape Hears Victims’ Chilling Accounts
RH Reality Check Article: Will the Justice Department Stand Up for Women Raped in Prison?
Prison Fellowship – Get Involved: Stop Prison Rape
Prison Fellowship – Prison Rape Victim Vindicated
The National Center for Victims of Crime: Male Rape
Inside Prison Article: Prison Rape: the challenge of prevention and enforcement
Denver Westwood News: Raped and extorted by a prison gang, Scott Howard was called a “drama queen” by corrections officials
The New York Review of Books: Prison Rape and the Government

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