So I just had the pleasure of reading a report from the American Action Forum that the Department of Justices plan to do something about rape and other sex crimes in prison is too costly. I went and read some of the plan from the Dept. of Justice. Here are some of the things that are being deemed too costly.
On Transgender and Intersex Imates:
In deciding whether to assign a transgender or intersex inmate to a facility for male or female inmates, and in making other housing and programming assignments, an agency may not simply assign the inmate to a facility based on genital status. Rather, the agency must consider on a case-by-case basis whether a placement would ensure the inmate’s health and safety, and whether the placement would present management or security problems, giving serious consideration to the inmate’s own views regarding his or her own safety. In addition, transgender and intersex inmates must be given the opportunity to shower separately from other inmates.
On The Definition of Abuse By Staff:
With regard to abuse by staff, the proposed rule included contact between the penis and the vulva or anus; contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus; penetration of the anal or genital opening; and “[a]ny other intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or the buttocks of any person with the intent to abuse, arouse, or gratify sexual desire.”
On Female Staff/Male Inmate Pat Downs:
In general, agency commenters supported the proposed standard as written regarding cross-gender searches. Several State correctional agencies remarked that prohibiting cross-gender pat-down searches of female inmates was feasible, but that it would be difficult to extend a cross-gender ban to male inmates. Other agency commenters stated that the training requirement would address any problems with cross-gender searches.
Now I can understand being mindful of costs when implementing something, especially when its millions of dollars on the line. But considering that millions of dollars get tossed to other things like that whole War on Drugs, the War Against Terror, and all sorts of gadgets and weapons used in these wars, is it really that hard to consider helping out sex abuse victims in prison?
A part of me wonder is this is stemming from the idea that prison rape is funny or that it is something that inmates deserve to suffer (and of course most of those condemnations are against male inmates).
Have we gotten to the point where people care so little about inmates that we put a price tag on their safety?
Photo by: Tim Pearce, Los Gatos