People in prison are exposed to and experience sexual violence inside prisons, further exposing them to communicable diseases and trauma. The consequences of sexual violence follow the individual into community upon release. This paper estimates the prevalence of sexual victimization within a state prison system. A total of 6, men and women participated in a survey administered using audio-CASI.
Weighted estimates of prevalence were constructed by gender and facility size. Rates of sexual victimization varied significantly by gender, age, perpetrator, question wording, and facility. Abusive sexual conduct was more likely between inmates and between staff Prison sexual harassment inmates than nonconsensual sexual acts.
Sexual violence inside prison is an urgent public health issue needing targeted interventions to prevent and ameliorate its health and social consequences, which spatially concentrate in poor inner-city areas where these individuals ultimately return. Prison is a violent place.
Prison sexual harassment type of violence that is often attributed to prison settings is sexual victimization. Sexual victimization can foment rage, leading to future violence either inside or outside prison, 67 as as depression and acts of self violence, such as drug use or suicidal ideation and gestures. Lawsuits by former prisoners who experienced rape and sexual abuse behind bars compelled Human Rights Watch to investigate the issue; they obtained testimony from over prisoners in 37 states and published their findings in a graphic account of the reality of rape in prison.
The current study was funded as part of the PREA and was designed to measure the prevalence of sexual victimization inside a statewide prison system.
First, rates sexual coercion are higher than rates of sexual assault or rape, independent of gender.
Second, in the vast majority of studies, male facilities have been found to have higher rates of sexual assault compared to female facilities. Third, younger inmates are at greater risk of sexual victimization, particularly if "Prison sexual harassment" are new arrivals to a facility and are serving their first convictions.
Facilities with a younger population would be expected to have higher rates of victimization than those facilities with a more mature and acculturated prison population. Fourth, inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization has an interracial bias, with victims most likely being White and sexual aggressors most likely being Black. While these patterns of sexual victimization inform interventions to prevent such violence inside prisons, they do not Prison sexual harassment provide evidence on the prevalence of the problem, which was one of the major objectives of the PREA legislation.
What is known is that the estimates of the prevalence of sexual victimization inside correctional settings are sensitive to methodology. Extant studies are based on different definitions of sexual victimization and diverse sampling designs. Estimates of the prevalence or incidence of sexual violence are extremely sensitive to methodology, with larger estimates derived from more specific questions about sexual victimization.
To our Prison sexual harassment, this study is the first to explore the prevalence of sexual victimization within a state prison system. It is also the first to use 1 a full population sampling design of approximately 20, inmates at 13 prisons; 2 multiple general and specific questions to measure sexual victimization; and 3 audio-CASI to administer the survey. Excluded from this group were inmates younger than 18 or in administrative pre-hearing custody, detention, death row, a sex offender treatment facility, or otherwise too sick to participate in the survey.