The Reality of Our Prisons

Prisoner rape is one of this country’s most widespread human rights problems, and arguably its most neglected. Frustratingly, heartbreakingly—but also hopefully—if only we had the political will, we could almost completely eliminate it.

And this really shocked me.

Fully 80 percent of the sexual abuse reported in the study was committed not by other inmates but by staff. And surprisingly, 95 percent of the youth making such allegations said that they were victimized by female staff.

From “The Rape of American Prisoners” by David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow, New York Review of Books (Volume 57, Number 4, March 11, 2010)

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