Custodial Abuse This Issue Has Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

In the end this may require a campaign to recruit more female corrections officers and eliminate or reduce greatly the presence of male officers from female facilities. Because of past abuses, the presence of male officers may cause many psychological obstacles for female inmates even if the officers are not sexually abusing inmates.

Summary

The increase in the female inmate population coupled with the increase in the violent nature of crimes being committed by women has caused corrections organizations to hire male guards. On the one hand, the male guards have the physical strength to subdue a violent or aggressive inmate. On the other hand male guards can also serve as very intimidating figures in a population where the majority of the women have been sexually or physically abused before coming to prison. Prior abuses cause these women to be more vulnerable and more likely to be preyed upon by staff. In addition, all corrections officer whether they be male or female, possess a huge amount of authority and power over the inmates.

This authority is necessary but when it falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to coerce or force inmates into performing sexual acts.

Additionally the research asserts that female inmates also prey on other female inmates. The findings suggest that the prison environment can make women more aggressive. It should also be noted that the increased aggression may also be caused by abuse by corrections officers which can cause their victims to become aggressive towards other inmates.

The impact of sexual abuse of female inmates upon corrections facilities is profound. One serious problem is the spread of contraband. Quite often in return for sexual favors corrections officers provide their victims with drugs and other items that prisoners are not supposed to possess. This creates an environment inside the prison in which illegal and legal drugs become readily available to the entire prison population.

The sexual abuse of prisoners also causes both civil and criminal litigation. These cases are becoming more prevalent, usually in the form of class action suits, and at the state and federal levels these trials can be costly. The monies absorbed by these lawsuits could be used more beneficially to rehabilitate prisoners.

The final and most detrimental impact of sexual abuse upon corrections is the inability to rehabilitate. It is duly noted that the majority of people currently serving prison time will someday be released. If prisons have such poor standards for personnel their ability to rehabilitate depreciates greatly. When the prisoners return to society, they are often more aggressive than they were before. The inmates that are sexually abused are more likely to become repeat offenders and return to prison.

In my own opinion, it is obvious that the abuse of female inmates must end if they are to be properly rehabilitated. When rehabilitation fails, the society suffers because the women come out of prison and commit more crime. In addition, tax dollars are being used rather poorly if the safety and rehabilitation of prisoners is not a top priority. Violence and abuse against women is an issue that is prevalent throughout the world and must be stopped. There is no reason why the wealthiest nation on the planet cannot do more to end the sexual abuse of female prisoners and create a climate of rehabilitation in the corrections facilities.

In addition, female inmates must be encouraged to report abuses and have the support needed to overcome past abuses. The laws must be more stringent and enforced. Corrections officers must know that such abuse will not be tolerated and that the consequences of these actions will be very real.

It will indeed be a difficult task to eliminate the sexual assault of female inmates but it is a problem that necessitates change. Legislators and those the manage corrections facilities must gain control of this growing problem and attempt to change the climate of corrections facilities so that they do become centers of correction and rehabilitation. This will only be possible if tax payers, female prisoners and other make known and seek to improve the condition of correctional facilities.

This a process that will be arduous but it totally possible and necessary to ensure the safety and rehabilitation of current and future inmates.

Works Cited

Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons: A National Pattern of Misconduct and Impunity (New York, December 7, 1996). Human Rights Watch. http://hrw.org/english/docs/1996/12/07/usdom4164.htm

Coolman, Alex. 2003. Sexual Misconduct in Women's Facilities: The Current Climate. Corrections Today, October, 118+. Database online. Available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/.Internet. Accessed 31 July 2005.

Laderberg A. 1998. The 'Dirty Little Secret': Why Class Actions Have Emerged as the Only Viable Option for Women Inmates Attempting to Satisfy the Subjective Prong of the Eighth Amendment in Suits for Custodial Sexual Abuse. William and Mary Law Review. Volume: 40. (1) Page Number: 323-363.

Sex Abuse 'A Significant Problem' in Prisons. 2005. The Washington Times, 4 May, A06. Database online. Available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/.Internet. Accessed 31 July 2005.

Seper, Jerry. May 4, 2005.. Sex Abuse 'A Significant Problem' in Prisons. The Washington Tiimes. Page Number: A06.

Struckman-Johnson, Cindy, and David Struckman-Johnson. 2002. Sexual Coercion Reported by Women in Three Midwestern Prisons. The Journal of Sex Research 39, no. 3: 217+. Database online. Available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/.Internet. Accessed 31 July 2005.

Endnotes

Laderberg A. 1998. The 'Dirty Little Secret': Why Class Actions Have Emerged as the Only Viable Option for Women Inmates Attempting to Satisfy the Subjective Prong of the Eighth Amendment in Suits for Custodial Sexual Abuse. William and Mary Law Review. Volume: 40. (1) Page Number: 323-363.

Struckman-Johnson, C., Struckman-Johnson David. 2002 Sexual Coercion Reported by Women in Three Midwestern Prisons. The Journal of Sex Research. Volume: 39 (3).. Page Number: 217

Seper, Jerry. May 4, 2005.. Sex Abuse 'A Significant Problem' in Prisons. The Washington Tiimes. Page Number: A06.

Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons: A National Pattern of Misconduct and Impunity (New York, December 7, 1996). Human Rights Watch. http://hrw.org/english/docs/1996/12/07/usdom4164.htm

Coolman, A. October 2003. Sexual Misconduct in Women's…

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