Human Rights Quote (73): Prison Rape

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human rights quote / statistics

prison rape soap


The Federal Prison Rape Elimination commission released its report on elimination and prevention efforts regarding the biggest social problem nobody wants to talk about: prison rape.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 60,000 prisoners — the great bulk of them male — fall victim to sexual abuse in prison each year. A fair number of these men are “punks” who are subject to frequent, even daily, male-on-male rape for years on end.

The nation’s prison-rape problems can’t go away overnight for at least two major reasons. To begin with, the racial supremacist gangs that control many prisons use rape as a tool for keeping other prisoners in line and, in some cases, prison officials may turn a blind eye towards sexual abuse when it keeps prison populations more orderly. Second, the understandable widespread social distaste for people in prison has lead to a widespread attitude that’s frankly inhumane. It is one thing to say that prison shouldn’t be fun and quite another to say that detainees “deserve” rape. Nobody does. But, somehow, prison rape remains a perfectly acceptable topic for sitcoms, widely trafficked websites, and late-night comedians. Eli Lehrer (source)

More on prison conditions.


  1. I should also add that, though Eli Lehrer does accurately describe one aspect of this issue, he completely avoids the issue of rape of inmates committed by the corrections staff. According to the report he mentions, staff is responsible for more rape than other inmates. It reports, “More prisoners reported abuse by staff than abuse by other prisoners.” Not only do they tolerate such acts of violence against inmates, but they engage in it. This is a very serious issue and, again, is perpetuated by the prison-industrial complex.

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