“The trivialization of prison rape is probably the worst.”

This comment was by D on the post 7 Types of Serious Abuse We Don’t Take Seriously.

The trivialization of prison rape is probably the worst, for many reasons:
1. Starting with the obvious, the idea that rape can be justified as punishment is utterly obscene.
2. The idea that the worst-of-the-worst will be targeted is unrealistic. Despite the belief in “Honor among thieves” the worst murderers and rapists are not likely to be targeted out of fear, and high profile molesters and others are put in protective custody.
3. The inmates that are likely to be targeted are usually weak, mild mannered, young, or gay.
4. Condoms are not distributed in a lot of prisons (on the idiotic idea that having condoms “would only encourage sex”) and STIs are prevalent in prison.
5. The most shocking thing that is never considered is who is actually doing the “punitive” raping. Chances are they’re…convicted rapists.

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  1. Oh, I wouldn’t say that there are “a lot … missing the point”. With respect to your original comment, replicated as this post, I would tend to agree with points 1,3,4 (punitive rape is obscene, the weak, young and gay are unlikely to be able to protect themselves, and condom distribution). The only hesitation I have on point 2 is the inclusion and conflation of murderers with rapists.

    Th reason point 5 (convicted rapists are the problem) caught my eye is simply that it shifts focus to the inmates, and away from the culture that exists amongst the management and staff. Apart from the female staff and male staff actually engaging in sex with inmates (inmate consent is arguably impossible), there are also those staff who condone and reportedly even engineer rapes as a means of controlling inmates, punishing snitches who complain about staff, and bribing inmate leaders.

    As you point out in your point 1, when society imprisons someone, rape is NOT supposed to be a part of the sentence. It is staff and management that are charged with this dereliction, and the portion of the rape that is perpetrated by inmates on another inmate IS their responsibility as well. That includes the female staff.

    So yes, rapists are being allowed to rape with impunity – staff, not so much convicted rapists.

  2. Wow… A lot of people missing the point.

    I’ll concede that it’s mostly guards who are committing the rapes. However, the point remains that rapists are being allowed to commit rape with impunity.

    As for rapists being the “target” of punitive rape, the main targets of prison rape are those who can defend themselves the least – queer prisoners, young prisoners, and the physically weak.

  3. Hey J, long time…. enjoy yr blog…

    D appears to be under the impression that male convicted rapists cause this problem. Depending on the victim(s) that the convicted rapists chose, the convicted rapists are likely to be the target of punitive rape, particularly child rapists (at least that is my impression).

    D appears to be making female staff invisible completely, since there are so few (none) convicted female rapists anywhere in the prison system. And also overlooking the culpability of male staff as well…

  4. “I doubt the female prison staff are convicted rapists. Perhaps you could clarify?”

    You can be pretty sure they’re not convicted. For one thing, it’s nearly impossible to convict a woman of rape of a man, and for another, if they had ben convicted of a felony, they couldn’t hold that job in the first place.

    Doesn’t mean they are not rapists.

    “Perhaps you could clarify?

    Presumably he is not talking about *all* female guards, just the ones male prisoners report raping them. And presumably those statistics Tamen quotes show that the majority of prison rapes of males are committed by female guards.

  5. D:
    with respect to your point # 5 …. could you point us in the direction of some confirming reports on ” The most shocking thing that is never considered is who is actually doing the “punitive” raping. Chances are they’re…convicted rapists.” ?

    I assume you mean male convicted rapists raping male inmates ? (Since the original piece seemed to be referring to male inmates,, based on the Boondocks reference and the links provided…)

    Yet the comment just above yours, provided by Tamen, notes this :
    “According to Bureau of Justice Statistics the majority of sexual abuse against men in prison is perpetrated by prison staff. In addition the majority of the prison staff who perpetrate sexual abuse is female.”

    I doubt the female prison staff are convicted rapists. Perhaps you could clarify?


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