Women Inmate's Abused While Incarcerated
Sexual abuse by male correctional staff towards women inmates in Philadelphia is ordinary and has led to many women becoming pregnant, contracting a deadly illness in addition to suffering mental and physical torture. According to a report by a non-governmental organization, dozens of sexual abuse were reported involving male staff between 2005 and 2011. In an interview, more than 50 women jailbirds reported recurring and acute officer-on-inmate sexual violence, varies from women being forced into sexual favors in exchange of illegal goods to rape.
It is hard to approximate the number of women who have been victims of sexual abuse in prisons following the fact that they are not comfortable about the whole topic. According to numerous reports from George Mason University, 1 out of 3 American women will be sexually abused in their lifespan. On the other hand, the National Crime Victimization Survey states 347,930 people in America were sexually abused.
Roughly 1 in 10 prisoners are exposed to sexual violence while incarcerated in post-release treatment facilities, local jails and state prisons. A report based on National Former Prisoners Survey contains data from 718,500 ex-prisoners who were under supervision parole in mid 2010. An approximated 3.7% confirmed they were coerced to engage in nonconsensual sex with other inmates while 5.3 % reported incidents with correctional staff. The same report coincides with a publication from the Justice Department of landmark federal standards to safeguard prisoners in every local, state and federal correctional facility under the Prison Rape Elimination 2003 Act.
Does the guard withhold any punishment for his criminal actions?
For a very long time, cases of sexual violence have been lightly taken as compared to those of women outside prison walls. Cases relating to rape, sexual harassment and pregnancy arising from the same has been a subject of jokes while the public has termed it as inevitable and deserved outcome of criminality.
More than a quarter of incarcerated women suffer unwanted sexual contact at the hands of correctional staff through other inmates while a quarter is physically injured. Approximately 23% reported acute injuries such as anal and vaginal tearing, while 12% lost teeth, another 12% were knocked unconscious and 10% suffered knife stabs and internal injuries.
Sexual contacts between inmates and staff is lawfully nonconsensual because some prisoners are willing while others are not. However, most victims reported some kind of force. More than half reported to receive some special favors while a third had been talked into it. Nearly 7 to 8 of women in this category reported male perpetrators.
The new standards which call for an array of measures to hinder and manage sexual violence involving prisoners, staff training, additional staff training, grievance report system, video monitoring, disciplinary measures for staff or inmate perpetrators and immediate medical and psychological has all fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, this is a reflection of many reports, studies and researches is a reflection of sexual violence happening in correctional institutions and have had devastating effects because the victims are voiceless according to those in charge.
What are criminal cases on this issue and the outcome?
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One of the major byproducts of women influx in correctional facilities has been the emergence and increase of sexual misconduct. No one has taken this issue seriously from correctional official to attorney representatives. Thus, sexual abuse behind bars has been a long-standing feature of the criminal justice system.
Numerous reasons are responsible for this emergence. Majority of prisoner women have meant that issues affecting their term become more highlighted. As such the public tend to look at women in prison in a favorable light as compared to men. Further, the public is more willing to understand sexual abuse in correctional facilities is likely to take place considering the very visible proof of the same abuses on other institutions.
Criminalizing sexual abuse of prisoners
Criminalizing sexual abuse of prisoners has been one of the most fundamental outcomes following the enactment of its legislation. For instance, only ten states and federal governments had regulations exclusively criminalizing sexual abuse among inmates. The last years have seen a primary response to litigation in states that had passed laws that allowed sexual contact between correctional officers and prisoner an offense. Some states such as Alabama, Vermont, Utah, Kentucky, Minnesota and Oregon still do not have laws that exclusively rule out such behavior.
The importance of legislation in this case is such a logical one. Why cant a states existing sexual abuse statute cover this behavior? Regrettably, sexual violence within an institutional setting may fail to be reported and prosecuted compared to a similar in the community. On the other hand, many cases where inmates are concerned do not fit the construct of an ordinary rape complaint. Sex between the two parties normally appears as an exchange of highly values stuff within the correctional facility. Sex can also be a force, for example, when a staff applies the promises of special treatment or threats.
As of 2006, a report released by the Commission on Safety and Abuse in American Prisons confirmed drug abuse continues to contribute overbearing role in the present penal system and use several forms. This has led to susceptible inmates being left at the mercy of their violent offenders or unscrupulous facility officers. As a matter of fact, the role of drug has become personal and individuals subject themselves to severe injuries. Drug abuse in these correctional facilities has been experienced in three forms, physical and sexual violence whereby an inmate can attack peers, while sexual abuse is not very common in states, it is rampant in other continents and sodomy is rising across the universe. Others are racial and self-abuse.
Pregnancy in Prisons
Pregnant women being rushed to hospitals in shackles, the pain and humiliation is not a sight their voiceless in Philadelphia but also across the universe. Such inmates undergo caps months of challenges from getting pregnant behind bars, lack of enough parental care and food, basic such as a bed and clothing to accommodate their changing bodies. The lack of compassion and common sense with which they are treated is wanting.
There have several cases of women being rushed to hospital after the baby is already out regardless of having informed those in charge. Some have given birth with the help of the staff who have no idea what to do and not to, while in worst cases with help from their peers or alone in a cell. Because of negligence, some women deliver dead babies and other complications such as septic shock. Such are not the only cases of humiliation women jailbirds undergo but they have made news in most correctional facilities.
Where do Children Born in Jail Go?
Children born from inmate mothers may be advantaged or otherwise. Some of them grow with their mothers right in the cells whiles others have special facilities where they spent their time and other are rescued by non-governmental organizations or guardians/relatives. In most cases, it is advisable to seek assistance from attorneys before a child leaves prison. Further, whether it is an organization or individual interested in taking such a child, proving ones fitness is a prerequisite because the facility has to know whether the child will be well catered for. On the other hand, the mothers actual situation is a factor if or not to start the process, that is why legal aid of an expert is important.
Why sexual misconduct is under reported
According to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network firm, sexual abuse is one of the under reported crimes. Actually, 60% of the cases are left unmentioned to the police.. Among the reported 40%, only 10% are arrested, then 8% is prosecuted, 4% lead to a felony conviction and sadly 3% of the rapists spend even a day behind bars.
The extent of sexual abuse towards women in prisons is hard to know. This is an acute challenge to be a focal point for litigation, research and advocacy. As much has much has been implemented in recognizing the issue, more is needed. Every country should ensure that inmates rights are well enshrined as well as ensuring policies and procedures to hinder and take in hand matters of sexual abuse, safe and confidential investigation process and solutions for allegations of staff who abuse inmates.