Several times recently I have noticed people referring to prison rape as though it an acceptable form of punishment, and that anyone who commits a crime and ends up in prison deserves what they get.
Admittedly, some of these people may not be Americans. But to the Americans I say: WHAT?
Look, this really shouldn’t require a great deal of debate, since it’s obvious: our constitution frowns on cruel and unusual punishment…and I think rape falls under that heading. Permitting (even encouraging!) rape in prison, is making rape a de facto punishment for just about any and every crime. Escaping that punishment is dependent on the given inmate’s toughness, and avoiding that punishment frequently turns an otherwise relatively mild-mannered convict into a much more dangerous person. (What makes the whole thing even more absurd is that the inmates * most * likely to be victimized by rapists are usually the * least * likely to be “deserving”, if we are measuring deserving by the severity or violence of the crime committed by the victim-inmate. )
It is sick, twisted and simply wrong to take the attitude that anyone who commits a crime deserves to be raped, or that it’s acceptable that they be raped.
The founder of Stop Prisoner Rape was a perfect example of why tolerating prison rape is barbaric, and his experience undercuts any claim we might make to being champions of judicial fairness or human rights. He was arrested for unlawful assembly at a Quaker Pray-In anti-war demonstration, didn’t pay the bail out of principal , and ultimately ended up being raped 60 times in a two-day period.
I fell in love with a guy who embezzled $16 from his employer when he was 17 years old, and because he was unprotected from rape in the adult prison he was sent to, ended up committing murder.
It’s time we stopped putting up with this crap. It’s time we stopped BREEDING criminals in our prisons. It’s time we started trying to help the helpable become decent members of society instead of hopeless victims and degenerates that are virtually guaranteed to become even more villainous than before they went in.
I tell ya, I hold our horrible penal system responsible for a lot of murder in this country. Murders committed by sick, twisted, damaged people that had a chance before the penal system got a hold of them and “taught them a lesson”. Please.
More reading on the subject (almost all of it pretty damned disturbing, by the way):