Criminal Victimization is Criminal
Everyone has rights. A man working in a factory, a mother taking care of her children, a girl attending college, a boy playing football, they all have rights, but what about criminals? Yes, everyone has rights. What happened when those rights are violated? Who does a criminal have to turn to? Or even who will believe them? Inmate on inmate victimization is not uncommon especially in physical abuse, but what about the sexual abuse? And what about when it is not just inmate on inmate victimization, what if it is guard on inmate victimization? This is not right, not only are most inmates stripped down to their basic rights; there are some that are even having those torn away from them as well. These are problems that have not been addressed until recently and still lacking solid solutions. Although much has been done to prevent abuse, especially sexual abuse, there is still not much to be done until after the fact.
One of the solutions to this problem is the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Although it is called the Prison Rape Elimination Act it includes all state and privately owned facilities including; federal, state, and local prisons, jails, police- lock- ups, and community settings like residential facilities. The act, voted on unanimously by the House of Representative and Senate, was the first national step toward a new understanding of the problem of sexual abuse in correctional and detention facilities. This act outlines specific details of what constitutes as a sexual abuse, “(a) the carnal knowledge, oral sodomy, sexual assault with an object, or sexual fondling of a person, forcibly or against that person's will; (b) the carnal knowledge, oral sodomy, sexual assault with an object, or sexual fondling of a person not forcibly or against the person's will, where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his or her youth or his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity; or (c) the carnal knowledge, oral sodomy, sexual assault with an object, or sexual fondling of a person achieved through the exploitation of the fear or threat of physical violence or bodily injury.(Summary)” It also outlines the consequences of sexual assault, and the response to any sexual abuse. It mandates national data collection on a yearly basis and certain standards and accountability. It establishes a zero tolerance policy and implements standards for prevention, detection, and punishment. It also directs the Attorney General to give grants to help prison’s efforts to protect their inmates; and to within one year, publish a final rule adopting national standards that provides a 5% reduction of any grand or federal funding for prisons who doesn’t submit an annual abuse report. The Prison Rape Elimination established the National Prison Rape Reduction Commission to study the impact of prison rape and what can be done for enhancing the prevention, reduction, and punishment of such. However, one of the most important things that it has done is establish itself within the National Institute of Correction, NIC. With this the act also directs the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct and annual comprehensive analysis of any incidents and the effects of prison rape. Each year there is a survey done by the NIC called the National Inmate Survey and it takes a survey of inmates who have potentially experienced sexual victimization both by other inmates and facility staff.
Each year since 2007 the National Inmate Survey has been conducted by Research Triangle Park International. The latest survey that has been released is the 2008 - 2009 survey. It was given in 167 state and federal prisons, 286 jails and 10 special confinement facilities operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Military, and correctional authorities in Indian country. Of these facilities there were 81,566 inmates surveyed. There were 32,029 inmates in state and federal prisons, 48,066 in...
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