The federal The report was based on analysis of local, state and federal prison data between 2009 to 2011.
The report found that prosecution was sought in only 46 percent of prison sexual abuse incidents involving staff members. When sexual abuse of prisoners was prosecuted, some 15 percent of staff members were allowed to remain on the job. Only 27 percent of staff found to have committed sexual abuse were referred for prosecution with 1 percent actually convicted, according to the report.
The level of impunity shocked observers looking out for prisoner welfare. Jesse Lerner-Kinglake of Just Detention International said correctional agencies simply weren’t punishing staff members accused of sexual abuse. He added that the lack of treatment for staff members who sexually abused prisoners and failure to take more serious action sent a bad message to everyone. He said the lack of accountability also made it more difficult for inmates to report this abuse because they wondered why bother, nobody would believe them anyway.
BJS said the number of sexually assaults by prison staff in America’s prisons from 2005 to 2011 increased from 6,241 to 8,763 incidents. Thirty percent of inmates received medical follow-up or special counseling, the report found, adding that contrary to public perception, more female staff than male staff – 54 percent versus 46 percent — committed sexual misconduct against prisoners. However, male staff members were reported far more often than female staff members by a margin of 74 percent to 26 percent.
Known sexual abuse didn’t account for the full number of such incidents, researchers said. A previous BJS report on total sexual abuse of inmates said 200,000 were abused behind bars annually with many of the abused being mentally impaired. Woman made up 7 percent of prison inmates.
About the Author:
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer Patrick Donovan is a former Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan represents people charged with both felony and misdemeanor crimes in Massachusetts. If you have been charged with a crime set up your free consultation today.