Some scary statistics from the U.S. prison system:
The U.S. Department of Justice recently released its first-ever estimate of the number of inmates who are sexually abused in America each year. According to the department’s data, which are based on nationwide surveys of prison and jail inmates as well as young people in juvenile detention centers, at least 216,600 inmates were victimized in 2008 alone. Contrary to popular belief, most of the perpetrators were not other prisoners but staff members—corrections officials whose job it is to keep inmates safe. On average, each victim was abused between three and five times over the course of the year. The vast majority were too fearful of reprisals to seek help or file a formal complaint.
17,100 of them, in juvenile detention. Overall, that’s almost six hundred people a day—twenty-five an hour.
The emphasis is added, the link is here.
Given the number of video camera’s in prison systems (and how cheap they are) this number is also a bit shocking (NY Book Review):
But perhaps more shocking is that even when authorities confirmed that corrections staff had sexually abused inmates in their care, only 42 percent of those officers had their cases referred to prosecution; only 23 percent were arrested, and only 3 percent charged, indicted, or convicted. Fifteen percent were actually allowed to keep their jobs.
Reminds me of a quote: “If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?” Of course you could edit the quote to add Mao, Stalin and Hitler.
FULL DOJ report can be found here (PDF).
h/t marginal revolution:
Prison Rape and the Government, March 24, 2011, David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow
Prison Rape: Still a Problem. Government: Still Not All That Concerned About It. Radley Balko | March 9, 2011