We just went over to the Rappahannock Regional Justice Academy to do a full day in-service training, Sexual Assault for Corrections Officers. It was a great training due to the wonderful participants that stayed involved and actively participated in the class.
Here are some facts about sexual assault in Detention settings:
Bureau of Justice Statistics Study on U.S. prisons, 2007: ◦6,528 prisoners reported sexual assault throughout the U.S. in 2006 ◦In the same 12 month time period, 60,500 prison inmates stated that they had experienced 165,000 incidents of sexual abuse
Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of county jails, 2008: ◦3.2% of inmates experienced sexual violence in a 6-month period ◦Perpetrators were about equally likely to be inmates as staff ◦5.1% of female inmates, compared to 2.9% of male inmates said they had experienced one or more incidents of sexual victimization
Bureau of Justice Statistics Study on U.S. prisons, 2007:
◦ 6,528 prisoners reported sexual assault throughout the U.S. in 2006
◦ In the same 12 month time period, 60,500 prison inmates stated that they had experienced 165,000 incidents of sexual abuse
Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of county jails, 2008:
◦ 3.2% of inmates experienced sexual violence in a 6-month period
◦ Perpetrators were about equally likely to be inmates as staff
◦ 5.1% of female inmates, compared to 2.9% of male inmates said they had experienced one or more incidents of sexual victimization
There are a lot of dynamics that play in to sexual assault in jail. People have a tendency to comment that when a rapist goes to jail they will get raped themselves. That however is not typically what happens. They are more likely to go into jail and re-offend than be victims. Perpetrators are typically more aggressive, street smart, gang affiliated, or have a history of violent crime. The victims are more likely to be very young or elderly, smaller in stature, shy, first time offender and in experienced with jail life,intellectual, physically weak, or previously victimized.
Helping the officers understand who is most likely to be at risk , and how is most likely to be a perpetrator helps them to identify potential assaults and intervene before it is too late.
Also knowing that most of the sexual assaults are coerced by intimidation, threat, blackmail, or bribery, can protect victims that may appear to having consensual sex. Going along with something, or not physically fighting it does not mean it is not sexual assault.
Sexual Assault is not consensual and is accomplished(inside and outside of jail) by:
◦ an indication of impending danger or harm
◦ Use of intellectual, moral, emotional, or psychological force, either expressed clearly or implied.
◦ Use of clear or implied threats of violence or punishment or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of what will happen if he/she does not comply
◦ the utilization of another person for selfish purposes
◦ to cause a person to believe what is not true
◦ the act of making a person do something against their will
◦ to be physically restrained by another person
POWER and/or AUTHORITY:
◦ is a measure of a person’s ability to control the environment around them, including the behavior of other people.
Please take a look at Power or authority. This is where staff on inmate violence comes in. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 made a zero tolerance policy for staff on inmate sexual assault and defined any sexual contact as sexual assault, because of the automatic authority of a guard over an inmate.
For more information I suggest you watch “No Escape Prison Rape” and ” Turned Out – Sexual Assault Behind Bars”, both available on Youtube.
Also, visit www.justdetention.com a national initiative to eliminate sexual assault in detention settings.