In Americathe people of society have become hypocrites, and even the fabric of integrity
which has made America great has been cast aside and replaced with Godlessness. Correctional institutions spring up everywhere with the intention to keep hardened criminals; the bad actors of society away from so-called “good citizens,” but the people kept have become an outlet for clandestine activities and fantasies of the undercover wicked. Why is it that in the public eye, and the stigma of homosexuality has been broadcast as wrong with reasons given that if one is to have sex then it should be between a man and a woman? Yet, the act of homosexuality has replaced the Godly act between man and woman with a lie; men with men is un-natural and is wrong because God says it is whether behind prison walls or without. Thus, homosexuality has become an acceptable reason among society that this should take place there; just as unwed sex has been accepted by the whole of society; it is wrong in prison and without. The conversation of sex in prison goes further to say that it is wrong for the guard and prisoner to participate; but why? Is it wrong because it is an act between guard and prisoner, or because two unmarried people should not have sex in the first place? First, it is wrong because God says it, “thou shalt not commit fornication” (Exodus 20:14). Secondly, to have sex while one is incarcerated; especially between an employee of the state and the prisoner he is hired to watch is wrong. It is also noted that not only are most of these excursions between guard and inmate frequent but that each encounter may be coerced; threats of any kind against a human life whether prisoner or free is wrong. Certainly coerced sex is not consensual, because it is rape and it is wrong. Hence, prison life reveals prisoners raping fellow prisoners in violent attacks, and there is notice of racial initiated vengeance acted out through sexual upheaval.
Prison overcrowding seems to be an additive to an already aggravated situation.
Surely, a guarded prisoner should not endure such horrible treatment from anyone, and especially someone who is of like gender. What rights have another human being no matter the race to take advantage of another human being; hence, homosexuality is wrong and rape is wrong no matter who it is. Women seem to face an even more horrid ordeal than do their male counterparts upon entrance into prison grounds where homosexuality and rape among the females; surprisingly is as common if not more so than that of the men. Society paints a picture of guards being taken advantage of by the women, duped, manipulated into trade of sexual favors for outside commodities such as drugs and cigarettes not available for the prisoners they guard, but could it be the situation at hand is most certainly initiated and coerced by male guards who can’t fight the temptation; a natural phenomenon which attracts them to the female they were born to hunt? It is lust at the height of its passion inside the big house as once again someone is literally “screwed” in the name of justice. (De Amicis, A., (2005), Para. 3) Table 1: Taken from GAO Report, GAO/GGD-99-104, page-8 Staff-on-Inmate Sexual Misconduct Allegations Reported and Sustained at BOP, California, and Texas Female Prisons, Calendar Years 1995 to 1998. (De Amicis, A., (2005).
Calendar years 1995 to 1998 Staff-on-inmate sexual misconduct BOP California Texas Total Number of allegations reported
- 236 BOP
- 117 California
- 153 Texas
- 506 Total
Number of allegations sustained (staff resignations, employment terminations, or other administrative sanctions)
- 22 BOP
- 22 California
- 48 Texas
- 92 Total
Total allegations sustained as apercentage of allegations reported
- 9% BOP
- 19% California
- 31% Texas
- 18% Total
According to the above graph it is obvious that guards are more involved than they admit when it comes to rape and the female prisoner.
A view for the years of 1995 to 1998 reveals
- 22 allegations for the years during 1995 to 1998
- 18 staff resigned, 3 were employment terminations and
- 1 staff reassignment.
As table 1 reflects, each of these allegations involved sexual abuse which is defined by the law as potentially criminal conduct. Out of these 22 allegations, the facts support that 14 allegations were sustained and resulted in criminal prosecution with convictions.” The author goes further to state that there were 6 out if 7 of the officers accused who resigned, and neither faced derogative comments in their file, or jail time. (De Amicis, A., (2005), Para1).
It seems unfair that not all accused don’t face more of a reprimand or suffer lengthy prison sentences because any way the situation is viewed it is rape and is certainly unfair treatment and abuse of women. What is impressive about human beingsbeing kept like cattle or horses in stalls? What is being done to eliminate inhumane conditions, because according to statistics in relation to prison overcrowding numbers indeed are at a recording breaking high? Further noted is the result of this overcrowding, sexual abuse, violence, and other unethical conditions is overwhelming. Mariner states, “Prison overcrowding has expanded and has failed to keep up with the pace of inmate numbers.” She states further, “that many state prisons squeeze in many more people than there are designed to hold which leave them bursting at the seams. Numbers indicate that 15 percent of state prisons are in operation above capacity, and federal prisons are 31 percent above recommended capacity”(Mariner, J., (2002), pp. 9, Para 9-10).
The lack of adequate staff that may also be a cause of prison overflowing from the seams, and it is also noted that not only are trained staff officers scarce, the lack of available funds seem to be an issue when it comes to educating and preparation for duty. Texas is an example given with supra problems in the area of trained corrections staff in the area of inmate work, substance abuse programs and other areas of need. Hence, because of lack of sufficient pay there is an astronomical turnover for staff; being that many are apt to quit because they are underpaid. ” (Mariner, J., (2002), pp. 9, Para 9-10).
“Also, lawsuits filed by prisoners indicate that there is a lack of humane conditions and respect found in offenses like: “around the clock rack downs in small windowless cells, unheated rooms, no exercise equipment, twenty-four hour video surveillance with female guards to watch them shower and urinate. Enhanced mental illness issues seem to be a problem as well because of overcrowding, and are under scrutiny by judicial official. There are also reports stating that that those suffering mental illness whose condition and symptoms isolates them, and who face further isolation because of these crowed conditions. The authors states, “the scrutiny of judicial affiliates warranted investigation of complaints filed by plaintiffs included; social isolation, idleness, and limited sensory stimulus aggravated the symptoms of the mentally ill.” (Mariner, J., (2002), pp. 10, Para 7). Therefore, one wonders what is to be the outcome of such horrid and inhumane conditions? Surely there must be further scrutiny and evaluation of issues faced by prisoners who live this way. For rape conjugal visits seem to be a consideration for some male prisoners.
Plans for the future seem to be of immediate concern; the author notes that “The United States Supreme Court has declared that prison rape constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment of the U.S Constitution. Despite widespread recognition of the problem, prison officials and law enforcement agencies take little action to combat the occurrence of male rape within the U.S. prison system. Inmates report that prison officials often do not investigate claims of male prison rape and prosecutors rarely bring charges against the perpetrators.” (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 579-80, Para. 2).
The graph above shows that this statement is true, and since this is so what can be done for those that can’t seem to keep themselves to themselves. One option is to allow them conjugal visits, but does it, will it work? To reiterate an earlier statement humans are sexual creatures; especially men because of their need sex causes problems. The author brings another point of view which says, “Prison authorities tend to report lower incidences of prison rape. According to the U.S. Justice Department, only 10% of inmates report physical or sexual assaults. Prison officials admit, however, that they may under report incidents of rape because it is hard for them to tell whether sex acts in prison are non-consensual.” Inmates are often coerced into performing sex acts through non-physical means and appear to be willing participants. Some inmates agree to engage in sex acts with other inmates because they are afraid that if they refuse to do so they will be severely beaten. Therefore, it may seem to prison officials that they have consented to participate in sexual relationships with other inmates.” (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 587, Para. 1).
What are the effects of rape in prison whether it male or female? “Psychologically, suicide is one out that prisoner’s take. There is an account of a young boy who was placed in an adult facility because he committed arson, and was there only a week when he was attacked and raped. The author goes on to say that medical examination declared and confirmed rape, and the boy asked to be placed in single cell for fear of his safety; but was not. The young man wrote home to his father telling him of the violent assaults happening to him, and as the rapes continued the boy finally having enough of it hung himself. (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 589, Para. 1).
Concerning health “Studies indicate that the HIV rate among prisoners is “several fold higher” than that of the general public, and indicates that being incarcerated is a cause of the spread of the deadly virus.” (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 589-590, Para. 1, 2,).The financial costs of those raped in prison are astronomical, because of law suits brought against prison officials, substance abuse treatment once outside of prison increases. Therefore, costs increase to treat ex-convicts, and there is difficulty for some people to readjust to life outside prison walls; this in turn also affects the safety of society as a whole when people who have suffered brutalized rapes are more likely to commit more crimes outside prison. The author states that, “This finding is especially troubling when one considers that approximately 600,000 inmates are released from U.S. state and federal prisons systems each year.” (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 591, Para. 1). Surely, society has an even bigger problem than the law broken. It is when in the midst of despair and defeat people of the religious community say the answer is found in hope in God, and this view begins to make sense when unethical and sinful behaviors run riot for those held captive in the prison system? Is God the way out? Prison Chaplains seem to think so and consider their job of importance. The author states, “From the research that has been conducted, investigators have found that chaplains occupy a unique position between prisoners and their custodians by overseeing rehabilitation efforts and by serving as “agents of change.” (Kerley, Matthews & Shoemaker, (2009), pp. 88, Para 2).
Ultimately, America must come to acceptance of the error of its ways. Yes, it is right seeking justice for those who break the law to be punished, but along with the punishment; does the thought that rape is, or that homosexuality is wrong because of only those free? America needs its integrity back, because it is wrong for prisoners to be forced into positions of compromise because one fear for their life. One man’s tale gives evidence of the decision to give up and give into the brutal attacks comes on him saying,” “I had no choice but to submit to being [an inmate ‘s]prison wife. Out of fear for my life, I submitted to sucking his dick, being fucked in my ass, and performing other duties as a woman, such as making his bed. ” “I’m a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. . . . These characteristics have got me raped [in prison] so many times I have no more feelings physically. I have been raped by up to 5 black men and two white men at a time. “I go through nightmares of being raped and sexually assaulted. I can’t stop thinking about it. I feel everyone is looking at me in a sexual way.” (Wyatt, R., (2006), pp. 579, Para. 1). Homosexuality is wrong as is prisoner-guard relations because God says it, and most certainly rape is wrong; because it tears down human dignity and character. America it is time to wake up and do something about your sin problem in the big house.
©Copyright,2011, (Dailey, K., 2011)
Kerley, Kent, R, Matthews, Todd, L., & Shoemaker, J. (2009). A Simple Plan, A Simple Faith: Chaplains and Lay Ministers in Mississippi Prison, Review of Religious Research, 2009. Volume 51(1): Pages 87-103. Retrieved from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/
De Amicis, A., (2005). An Ethical Dilemma in Corrections. (August 21, 2005). Retrieved from: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/212621.pdf
Wyatt, R., (2006). MALE RAPE IN U.S. PRISONS: ARE CONJUGAL VISITS THE ANSWER?. Web Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 2006, Vol. 37 Issue 2/3, p579-614, 36p. Retrieved from: http//content.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?
Sargent A., (2010). Representing Prison Rape: Race, Masculinity, and Incarceration in Donald Goines’s White Man’s Justice, Black Man’s Grief. MELUS, Fall2010, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p131-155, 25p. Retrieved from: http://content.ebscohost.com/pdf23_24/pdf/2010/MEL/01Sep10/53071781.pdf?T
Mariner, J., (2002). Behind Bars in America. Human Rights, Spring2002, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p9, 3p Retrieved from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/
- “Engendering Rape” (sentencing.typepad.com)
- Prison sex requires consent, court says (sfgate.com)
- Correction officers protest in Stephen Harper’s Calgary riding (cbc.ca)
- Jail overcrowding worries authorities (fijitimes.com)
- Colorado prison inmates win sexual assault suit against former guard (denverpost.com)