Nearly 5 Percent of Prison Inmates Reported Sexual Victimization

Nearly 5 Percent of Prison Inmates Reported Sexual Victimization

Nearly 5 Percent of Prison Inmates Reported Sexual Victimization

Approximately 88,500 inmates incarcerated in the United States reported being the victim of one or more sexually based offenses in 2008 and 2009. 24,000 of these reports came from local jails, and 64,500 from prisons. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics announced these results after a survey they conducted.

They were prompted to administer this survey by the requirements of the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The survey was held between October 2008 and December 2009, and showed that around 4.4 percent of prison inmates reported a sexual victimization event caused by a fellow inmate or a staff member from the facility. 3.1 percent of the inmates held in jails reported the same. 1.5 of jail inmates and 2.1 percent of all prisoners across the nation reported one or more sexual incidents with another inmate. Facility staff victimization was higher, with 2.8 percent and 2.0 percent of prison and jail inmates, respectively, reporting it.

12 male prisons, 11 jails, and four female only prisons were classified as “higher rate” locations due to the increased reporting of sexual victimization between inmates or involving staff members. Reports of threats and physical force during these sexual incidents were surprisingly low, remaining just above 1 percent in most cases.

Nearly half of all inmates reporting sexual misconduct from another inmate stated that the incident included at least one act of nonconsensual sex. More than half of the incidents involving staff members were reported as consensual acts. The report also detailed the amount of injuries being caused during these incidents. Over a third of imprisoned males reported injuries in cases involving another inmate, and only 17 percent of jailed males. The percentage of injuries reported by prisoners being sexual victimized by staff members was substantially lower.


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