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Why Americans Don't Care About Prison Rape And What Happens When the Problem Escapes from Behind Bars

Accession Number: 029778
Media Type: 
Document
Series: 

This article is an excellent analysis of why the general public accepts prison rape. It also address the impact prison rape has on the community. Topics discussed include: the housing of juveniles in adult facilities and their rape by those inmates; toleration and subtle appreciation of prison rape; the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003; more sexual assaults due to staff than other inmates according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS); factors that make the risk of victimization greater; the effectiveness of PREA as reflected in these statistics; the iconic shower scene; Scared Straight; the weirdly comical presentation of prison rape on television; bad people deserve prison rape; the majority of those raped are released from prison; reentry focused on employment not sexual trauma services; rehabilitation being negatively impacted by post-traumatic shock from prison rape; prison rape as a barrier to HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted disease treatment resulting to their transmission in the community; and the "ubiquity of prison rape nonchalance in popular culture, which promotes a rape-as-punishment framework and normalizes rape itself. There is no other element of carceral life so frequently referenced" in society. "If PREA is mostly toothless, it is only because it is allowed to be. It is difficult to conjure up similar legislation applied to any other population that would be met with such a resounding shrug. It appears that prison rape, by insinuating itself into the very punitive and rehabilitative functions of prison, has produced a deadly nonchalance. We have become a culture that tolerates and potentially lauds the rape and sexual exploitation of hundreds of thousands of people every year, many of them minors, mothers, mentally ill."

Why Americans Don't Care About Prison Rape And What Happens When the Problem Escapes from Behind Bars Cover