[Regardless of the frequency or infrequency, sexual abuse and assault within correctional facilities is unacceptable and must be addressed. Law enforcement uses it as a big stick. The fear of incarceration is exacerbated in an interrogation scenario, by the utilization of the sexual abuse element. Cops don’t say, “You’ll be locked up and lose your freedom.” They say, “You’ll be locked in a cage with a rapist.”
A 2005 article that appeared in The Criminologist was titled, “It ain’t happening here: Working to understand prison rape.” Although I had spent some time working in correctional facilities at that point, I still labored under the popular myth that sexual assaults in prison were absolutely ubiquitous.
Kreinert and Fleisher’s article taught me otherwise, and suggested that the narrative about prison rape is far more complicated than it might appear.
Hollywood and newspaper editorials as well as former inmates’ allegations of sexual assault, sexual coercion, rape and sexual slavery have slowly imprinted on America’s psyche the illusion that prison rape is a nearly inescapable consequence of imprisonment.
Prison rape research is flawed, they argue, and I don’t disagree. I also know that any kind of research on incarcerated populations or former inmates is extremely difficult to do. Prison officials don’t want to give access for fear of bad…
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