Monday, June 01, 2009
The extent of the problem varies according to the information source. Human Rights Watch estimates 140,000 rapes occur in U.S. prisons each year. The National Institute of Justice gives a low figure of 8,000.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics lists several intriguing points.
- An estimated 60,500 inmates (or 4.5% of all State and Federal inmates) experienced one or more incidents of sexual victimization involving other inmates or staff.
- Nationwide, about 2.1% of inmates reported an incident involving another inmate and 2.9% reported an incident involving staff.
- Among the 146 prison facilities in the 2007 NIS, 6 had no reports of sexual victimization from the sampled inmates; 10 had an overall victimization rate of at least 9.3%.
- Among the 10 facilities with the highest overall prevalence rates, 3 had prevalence rates of staff sexual misconduct that exceeded 10%.
Prison rape also causes spreading HIV at a higher rate than the population at large.
Considering that all prisons in the U.S. are under government control with a few being run by private companies with government oversight, allowing prison rape stands as a great moral failing of our society. Prison supposedly serves to punish and rehabilitate criminals. I fail to see rapes role in reaching this goal. Rather, most likely, it creates an angry, vengeful person bent on retribution against a society that trapped him/her in an inhuman environment.
Of course, I have my ulterior motives for writing about prison rape. That would be torture. In my recollection Instapundit and a few others are the only bloggers I've seen address the problem of prison rape. I can't recall reading a single word condemning prison rape in liberal blogs although, admittedly, I read fewer liberal blogs. However, I do review a few liberal blogs regularly looking for a fight.
Yet, virtually every liberal blog I've read and other liberal media outlets have howled about waterboarding. I don't support torture and realize atrocities occurred with POWs in Iraq and else where. But, why do the liberals howl so much about the waterboarding and ignore prison rape. Isn't it an international embarassment that we have so many people in prison and that rape is so prevalent? Don't the men and women in our prisons possess the same human rights at terrorists?
The answer is that the far left wingers don't care about the terrorists or our domestic prisoners. The waterboarding issue is nothing more than a tool to attack the opposition. If you look deep enough at the far left wingers, you'll find this pattern in virtually every issue. It's about grabbing power by any means, not caring.
Two - Orleans Parish has some of the worst conditions of any urban prisons in the USA, the reports have been coming out for years. From the ACLU, bloggers, non-profit watchdogs, and even the Federal government. Conditions after Katrina and the flood were referred to as torture in reports, blogs and media.
NOLA bloggers would talk about it more, I'm sure, if we weren't so busy trying to fix education, health care, the rest of the criminal justice system, local levee boards, the levees themselves, supporting corruption probes....you get the idea.
Three - people on all sides of the aisle find it easier to confront problems further away than those close to home. That's why so many folks talk and argue about things they have the least amount of control over.
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