According to a Department of Justice report, more than 200,000 incarcerated persons are sexually assaulted in the United States every year. Some incarcerated people are at greater risk for prison sexual abuse, including groups such as women, those identifying as LGTBTQ+, and youth. Prison rape and sexual assault is not limited to inmate-on-inmate abuse; rather, studies find equivalent offending rates for both incarcerated people and facility staff. Many barriers exist to reporting the abuse, including, but not limited to, being ashamed, fearing the perpetrator’s response, and concern for retaliation by staff. If an incarcerated person makes a report, perpetrators are rarely punished. While federal guidelines are provided to aid in reducing and responding to prison rape and sexual assault, prisons have much work to do to further policy changes on this systemic issue.
Dr. April Terry
Copyright the Author(s)
Synovec, Kylee and Terry, April
"Prison Rape and Sexual Assault: Prevalence, Vulnerabilities and System Responses,"
SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days: Vol. 2023, Article 44.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/sacad/vol2023/iss2023/44