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Prison rape commonly refers to the rape of inmates in prison by other inmates or prison staff. Although it may relate occasionaly to the rape of staff by iinmates.

EpidemiologyEdit

According to Human Rights Watch, there is a significant variation in the rates of prison rape by race. Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc. statistics indicate that there are more men raped in U.S. prisons than non-incarcerated women similarly assaulted. They estimate that 25,000 inmates are raped each year; that young men are five times more likely to be attacked; and that the prison rape victims are ten times more likely to contract a deadly disease.

RamificationsEdit

Research has shown that juveniles incarcerated with adults are five times more likely to report being victims of sexual assault than youth in juvenile facilities (Martin Forst et al., Youth in Prisons and Training Schools: Perceptions and Consequences of the Treatment-Custody Dichotomy, 2 Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 9 (1989).), and the suicide rate of juveniles in adult jails is 7.7 times higher than that of juvenile detention centers. As states try growing numbers of juveniles as adults, the risk of sexual abuse increases.

Prisoner rape also costs taxpayers dearly in the form of higher rates of recidivism and re-incarceration, increased violence, higher rates of substance abuse, lawsuits brought by victims, mental health services, and medical care, including treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Yet these high costs have failed to inspire most facilities to implement even the most basic measures to address the problem.[2]

Prison rape cases have drastically risen in recent years, mostly attributed to an increase in counseling and reporting. The threat of AIDS, which affects many of those raped in prison, has resulted in the increase of reported cases for the benefit of medical assistance.

Racial dimensions of prison rapeEdit

According to a detailed study of prison rape in US prisons by Human Rights Watch, White people are disproportionately targeted in terms of victimization statistics. The report stated:

Past studies have documented the prevalence of black on white sexual aggression in prison.(213) These findings are further confirmed by Human Rights Watch's own research. Overall, our correspondence and interviews with white, black, and Hispanic inmates convince us that white inmates are disproportionately targeted for abuse. Although many whites reported being raped by white inmates, black on white abuse appears to be more common.[3]

Prison rape and sexualityEdit

In prison rape, the perpetrator and victim are generally the same sex (due to the gender-segregated nature of prison confinement). As such, a host of issues regarding sexual orientation and gender roles are associated with the topic.

It is worth remembering, however, that many prison rapes in female prisons are instigated by a prison guard against an inmate.

In U.S. male prisons, rapists generally identify as heterosexual and confine themselves to non-receptive sexual acts. Victims, commonly referred to as "punks" or "charlon" or "bitches," may or may not be seen as homosexual. Punks are generally confined to performing receptive sexual acts. Moreover, though "punks" sometimes agree to a sexual arrangement with an aggressor, these men generally consider themselves heterosexual.

Transgendered inmates face further difficulties, and Stop Prisoner Rape asserts that such inmates have an almost certain chance of being sexually assaulted in prison. Some prisons separate homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders from the general prison population to prevent rape and violence against them. [How to reference and link to summary or text]

Shame regarding perceived homosexuality may contribute to the underreporting of prison rape by victims. Prison rape statistics may be higher than reported, as many victims are afraid to report, being threatened with physical violence by rapists if reported.

Prison rape and sexualityEdit

In prison rape, the perpetrator and victim are almost always the same sex (due to the gender-segregated nature of prison confinement). As such, a host of issues regarding sexual orientation and gender roles are associated with the topic.

In U.S. male prisons, rapists generally identify themselves as heterosexual and confine themselves to non-receptive sexual acts. Victims, commonly referred to as "punks" or "bitches," may or may not be seen as homosexual. "Punks" is a term for those who are generally confined to performing receptive sexual acts. Moreover, though "punks" are coerced into a sexual arrangement with an aggressor in exchange for protection, these men generally consider themselves heterosexual.

Inmates who are transgender face further difficulties, and Just Detention International asserts that such inmates are almost certain to be sexually assaulted in prison. Some prisons separate known homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender people from the general prison population to prevent rape and violence against them. [citation needed] Not surprisingly, many heterosexuals identify themselves to authorities as homosexuals so that they will be sent to the 'gay tank' where they will be protected from homosexual rape. There are, however, other methods to get oneself segregated from population, such as rule infractions or feigned suicide attempts. Other inmates have resorted to killing their rapist (or probable future rapist), particularly those who already have long sentences and are thus virtually immune from further legal consequences.

Shame regarding perceived homosexuality may contribute to the under-reporting of prison rape by victims. Prison rape statistics are much higher than reported, as many victims are afraid to report, being threatened with physical violence by rapists if reported, as well as staff indifference.

Federal Law Public Law 108-79 was passed in the United States in 2003. According to Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc.,

The bill calls for the gathering of national statistics about the problem; the development of guidelines for states about how to address prisoner rape; the creation of a review panel to hold annual hearings; and the provision of grants to states to combat the problem. "Unfortunately, in many facilities throughout the country sexual abuse continues virtually unchecked," said Stemple. "Too often, corrections officers turn a blind eye, or in the case of women inmates, actually perpetrate the abuse. We hope federal legislation will not only create incentives for states to take this problem seriously, but also give facilities the tools and information they need to prevent it."
[1]

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PoliticsEdit

Many human rights groups, such as the Human Rights Watch and Stop Prisoner Rape, have cited documented incidents showing that prison staff tolerate rape as a means of controlling the prison population in general.

The topic of prison rape is relatively common in American humor. Jokes such as "don't drop the soap" seem to suggest that prison rape is an expected (or acceptable) consequence of being sent to prison. This phenomenon is exemplified by the 2006 U.S. feature film Let's Go to Prison or the board game Don't Drop the Soap being marketed by John Sebelius, the son of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.[2] Songs have also been composed about the topic, e.g. the song "Prisoner of Love" by radio personalities Bob and Tom, performing as "Slam and Dave". By contrast, prison rape is not a stock topic of jokes in most other Western cultures. [citation needed]

U.S. Federal law, under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, calls for the compilation of national prison rape statistics, annual hearings by a review panel, and the provision of grants to the states to address prison rape. A first, highly-controversial and disputed study, funded under the PREA by Mark Fleisher, concludes prison rape is rare: "Prison rape worldview doesn't interpret sexual pressure as coercion," he wrote. "Rather, sexual pressure ushers, guides or shepherds the process of sexual awakening." [3]

In 2007, the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Khalid el-Masri, who had accused the CIA of torture, including 'forced anal penetration', due to state secrets privilege.[4][5]


RussiaEdit

In Russian male prisons, prison rape is quite common. There are many taboos in Russian prison culture associated with this topic. Victims of rape belong to the very bottom of prison hierarchy, to the layer called "opushchennye" (Russian: опущенные

literally, "those who were moved down", singular "opushchennyi") or "petookhi" (Russian
петухи
literally, "roosters", singular "petookh"). The circumstances of rape doesn't matter; the very fact of homosexual contact in passive mode makes prisoner a "petookh"; thus, if a prisoner had a homosexual contact before prison and this fact becomes known to other inmates, he is also moved to this group. "Petookhs" are untouchables
other prisoners may touch them only during the rape; they live in a separate corner of a prison cell, every object that is touched by a "petookh" is befouled: if another inmate touches it, he becomes a "petookh" too; it is even forbidden to beat "petookhs" with hands (only beating with legs is permitted). "Petookhs" are forced to do the most filthy job: to clean toilets, to empty trash cans, etc. </br>

When another prisoner requests sex, a "petookh" must obey or he will be beaten. "Petookhs" are often given female names (Sveta, Masha, Tanya etc.) and must respond when they are called by these names. When a "petookh" is transferred to another prison where nobody knows him, he must immediately inform other inmates about his status. Failure to do this may lead to very severe consequences to the "petookh" including his murder when his status becomes known. According to "proper" traditions, there are very few reasons for raping a prisoner: lodging information against other inmates to authorities, theft of other prisoners' property, failure to pay debt in time. When somebody is raped without a proper reason, this is considered as bespredel (Russian: беспредел

literally, "without limits") - an action that seriously violates rules and traditions of criminal community. In such a case, the rapist himself sometimes may be raped, but the status of the prisoner that is raped by "bespredel" doesn't change.

The status of "petookh" is life-long, there is no way to get out of this layer (At least untill the inmate is released or paroled; but if he will be jailed again, he will again be considered as a "petukh".) The very word "petookh" is a taboo: inmates tend to use it as little as possible. To call a "petookh" somebody who is not the one is a very hard insult that may lead to death.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. {{cite press release | title = Federal Legislation Introduced to Curb Prisoner Rape | publisher = Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc. | date = 2002-06-12 | url = http://www.spr.org/en/pressreleases/2002/06_12_02.asp | accessdate = 2007-11-30
  2. [1] retrieved 04 February 2008.
  3. includeonly>"A disputed study claims rape is rare in prison", USA Today, 2006-01-17. Retrieved on 2010-05-22.
  4. [www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/safefree/elmasri_iachr_20080409.pdf ACLU petition, 2006]
  5. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/09/el_masri_state_secrets/

External linksEdit

  • Stop Prisoner Rape Organization campaigning against prison rape
  • [4] "No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons," Human Rights Watch, accessed 20 Aug 2006.
  • [5] "The Basics on Rape Behind Bars," Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc., accessed 20 Aug 2006.
  • [6] Alex Coolman, "Trivializing Prison Rape," CounterPunch, August 1, 2003.
  • [7] Steve J.B., "Prison Bitch," CounterPunch, August 1, 2003.
  • [8] Joanne Mariner, "Preventing Prison Rape, FindLaw.com, June 24, 2002.
  • Martin Forst et al., Youth in Prisons and Training Schools: Perceptions and Consequences of the Treatment-Custody Dichotomy, 2 Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 9 (1989).
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