Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

More on abuse in prison

One of the subjects I have posted about several times over the past year is the subject of prison rape. I detest the way it is constantly portrayed as a joke, or as a legitimate feature of incarceration. Here is a longish article on the subject from the online journal 'legal affairs', which covers the issues in a fair way, with interviews with some who have experience of prison abuse.


In Butler v. Dowd, a Missouri jury found that three inmates had been raped due to deliberate indifference from the staff, violating the inmates' Eighth Amendment right to be free of "cruel and unusual" punishment. In another case in Connecticut, James v. Tilghman, a jury found that corrections officials' decision to place an inmate in a cell with a suspected sexual predator similarly violated the prisoner's constitutional rights. In those cases, the juries awarded the inmates $1 and nothing, respectively. Both "awards" were upheld on appeal

What were the juries thinking of? How can anyone's sexual integrity be worth as little as one dollar? I suspect that many men are performing the same mental trick that many women used to do (perhaps some women still do) which is to objectify the victim of sexual assault, and assume that s/he was doing something wrong. The psychological comfort being that as a 'good citizen' who is 'not asking for it' they are protected from having to think - that could have been me.

Once people do realise that we all - male and female - share vulnerability, then perhaps there will be greater solidarity with rape victims of both sexes, and for those who are in general objectified sexually.
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