Sunday, April 04, 2010

Texas leads nation in reported prison rapes

According to the Austin Statesman, Texas prisons stand out as experiencing a disproportionate number of prison rapes. The story opens:
Each week, the staff of the prison watchdog group Just Detention International receives about 30 letters from inmates who say they've been sexually assaulted in prisons across the nation.

More than a quarter of those letters come from one state: Texas.

Sexual abuse is a problem in prisons nationwide. But even when adjusted for the number of inmates in a given prison system, Texas still stands out as the state where sexual assault in prison is most prevalent.

Five of the 10 prisons with the highest rates of sexual abuse in the country are in Texas. That includes the top two, the Estelle Unit, north of Huntsville, and the Clements Unit, east of Amarillo.

Garrett Cunningham was an inmate at the Luther Unit in Navasota in 2000, when he says a corrections officer twice his size accosted him on his way to the shower, handcuffed him, raped him and then forced him into the shower. Cunningham said the officer threatened to have him transferred to "a rougher unit where I would be raped all the time" if he told anyone about the assault.

Cunningham told his story to a panel of congressmen investigating sexual abuse in prisons in 2005.

"Many men and women in Texas experience sexual abuse at the hands of officers and other prisoners," Cunningham said. "Their pleas for help go unanswered by administrators and staff."

The federal government now is implementing new standards for prisons, jails and other lockups in what advocates and the Department of Justice call a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to end sex abuse behind bars. ...

New standards were proposed in June by a commission formed after passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003. Facilities will have one year to implement the final recommendations, due this year and subject to federal approval.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You seem to not want to admit that prisoners rape each other. You probably would like to blame prison staff.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Huh? What in this post leads you to that strange conclusion?

Anonymous said...

In this entire article you chose to slant it against correctional officers.

yvette99 said...

When guards rape inmates they should be dealt with the full force of the law, but they get away with it. Guards do abuse inmates so why shouldn't it be highlighted why should things like this be swept under the carpet. Some of the guards are the biggest predators who never face prosecution is that fair?

Anonymous said...

RE: Raped by The State! Employees do have sex with inmates, some consentual and some through abuse. Why deny that it does not happen? When administration turns a blind eye, it just makes the situation worse. Staffers always want to blame the inmates for problems staffers create.

Mark # 1 said...

The not-so ironic observation is that the anonymous trolls can't really exercise much reading comprehension, in addition to the other obvious shortcomings. . .

sunray's wench said...

There is no such thing as consentual sex between inmates and those in a positon of authority such as prison officers, no matter what the inmate says.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

In this entire article you chose to slant it against correctional officers.

4/05/2010 08:14:00 AM
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Because CO's are screwing inmates in Texas and getting away with it. It's not a slant, it's a FACT so get over it.

Of course prisoners also screw each other and yes that would be an EQUALLY serious problem. You can always tell just how true something is in Texas by how defensive the people "in the know" become.

Texas, we have a problem!

Anonymous said...

Prison rape will be eliminated when we start putting every prisoner in solitary. Then they will keep their anal chastity, but suffer much worse!

Anonymous said...

The 'people in the know' are the problem. They deny there is a problem so the problem grows daily.

Matthew said...

I used to work at the Bill Clements Unit as a correctional officer at the ripe old age of 19 years old until I was 21 years old.

What must be understood that (at least at that facility) what happens is that there are very few officers for quite a few inmates. Like one officer to a few hundred inmates. The inmates will abuse each other where the officers are not.

Now as for a male officer raping a male inmate... That was unheard of there. At least I never heard of it when I was there. However a female officer having consesual sex with an inmate (the crime is called Violation of the Civil Rights of a Person In Custody; Improper Sexual Activity with a Person In Custody--Not a sexual assault) was more common than I would like to admit.

However the administrators actively attempted to route out these female employees that were doing that, but few were ever prosecuted....

Also, there was often a general apathy towards prisoners which I must admit that I shared. I was there to protect free citizens of Texas, not the criminals that were there. If I came accross a major incident, I would report it otherwise what happened when I wasn't around wasn't my concern. I just wanted to go home at the end of the day.

You can solve deliberate indifference maybe, but you can't make people care about sex offenders, murderers, theives or gangsters.

Just being honest folks. Working in a prison is an experience, I would suggest a tour sometime.

To tell you the truth I am WAY happier in law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

To all indespicable prison staff moron's.It is your responsiblity to see that prison rape does not occur.Not only are you not doing your jobs,Your gonna rot in hell one day.Oh yeah, your gonna rot in hell!!Yes you are to blame dogsloth.

Anonymous said...

Having been employed by TDCJ for a number of years,I would like to add my two cents in. If we see it or an offender tells us about it we report. Now having said that,I have seen several offenders report stuff that was not true, just to get out of cell housing assignments, get out of gambling debts etc. As for blaming staff, we can't be every where at once.Yes we are short staffed at times.
One other thing needs to be said, Texas leads the nation in reported rapes, are these actual rapes or are they allegations? Bid difference!

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Prison rape will be eliminated when we start putting every prisoner in solitary. Then they will keep their anal chastity, but suffer much worse!

4/06/2010 01:12:00 PM
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Aren't you a genius?

Boyness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A whole bunch of people need to look up the word responsibility.
Some of you TDC staffers talk as if prison rape were just as matter a fact . The same way murderer's talk about killing."I just wanna go home at the end of the day";And now your a cop out on the street's.I guess if you get shot one day because you don't have proper back up due to a police shortage.Oh well!Whatever dude.