Is it really true that child molesters are treated more harshly in prison?

It’s a well-known conventional wisdom, but is it factual? Or just incidental because of the way group dynamics work in such a case, where, due to the nature of their crimes, they are just a lot lower on the peckering order, while the really hard thugs are the top dogs?

And, just in case you’re wondering. . . No, I don’t.

In at least the mid-level prisons, a prisoner does not want anyone to find out that they’re in for any charge involving a child. In tiers (or whatever they’re in) nobody asks *why *they’re in.

In the UK prison system anyone like that usually gets put in protective custody, which is slightly counter productive in the sense they are then with mostly other molesters and thus feed off each other for “ideas”.

I may be in prison on Friday (not Tuesday as I have said earlier - and not for being a paedo or anything like that either, they are drug crimes) and I will also consider asking for protective custody as I am not very streetwise and an obvious bullying target, although I will ask the screws first and probably try normal population first depending on what they say. If I am actually put in prison on Friday it will be because I can’t be sentenced for more than a year, which would mean I will be out in six months to tell you all about it.

Secondly I saw somewhere some pdf of a forum thread where many of the posts were by paedophiles who had been in prison, I will ask the friend who sent me it for a copy. That is probably by far the best thing you can see as it has stories from those in both UK and US system.

Not sure if this is still the case, but in the 1980s/90s my uncle worked for the Dept of Corrections and spent most of his time in the prison in Terre Haute (Indiana). He said that high profile child predators were offered (and usually accepted) protective segregation because they were often the targets of violence by the prison gangs.

However, I am not clear on whether they were targeted because of their despicable crimes or because they “stood out”. Child molesters aren’t necessarily criminals in other aspects of their lives and often don’t fit in with career criminals in prison.

Police officers were given the same protection, regardless of the crime they were in for-- as they too are the targets of gang violence.

Lol. I was gonna ask.

In New Jersey there is a separate prison for them. Not for their protection, but an attempt to treat them and keep them from re-offending. I have never worked in a prison. I have only dropped off customers at the county jail. The guards I know say the old rumor that they are treated poorly in prison is over stated. Race, gang affiliation and conduct inside the prison are more important factors.

Personal story. I sat on the jury where the prosecution’s key evidence was the video tape of the accused having sex with his stepdaughter. Two hours that I’ll never be rid of, but that’s another story.

We convicted him on a Friday.

His throat was cut Saturday.

I don’t know if he survived, but I’ll take that as evidence that child molesters are not popular behind bars.

Wait, you were forced to watch a two hour long video of a child being raped? Isn’t that brutally excessive? Wouldn’t a few still frames have amounted to the same evidence? That sounds like a crime itself.

Recently, a lifer killed a man who (while drunk) killed a little girl in a accident. The lifer was generally regarded as a hero in the joint.

Calling Dr. Qadgop the Mercotan!

Very true.

It’s not only child-molesters. In Melbourne last week a young woman was raped and murdered and the accused is being held in protective custody. Apparently there have been credible threats from various prisons that he would not survive 24 hrs in the general prison population. They don’t take lightly ‘innocents’ being murdered and abused.

Jill Meagher

Sorta similar thread.

This past summer I was browsing in a local, small town antique (junk) store. There was one other shopper and the owner. Out of nowhere, the owner shouted, “get the fuck outa here you piece of shit and never come back or I’m calling the cops”.

For a moment I thought he was screaming at me. He apologized to me, and said, “That was John Doe”. He told me he was a pedophile and unwelcome most places in town. I went home, checked the Megan’s Law site and confirmed the story. Haven’t seen the guy around since then.

So it ain’t just prison. Not sure where I stand, but it’s the guy’s store, and honestly I wouldn’t want John Doe on my property either.

(Names changed to protect identities. I feel bad for any dudes really named John Doe. Just imagine checking into a Motel)

As I understand it, many criminals had deprived childhoods and therefore have a very soft spot for children

Child molestors, persons convicted of sex crimes, former law enforcement personnel, and terrorists and radicals are all known vulnerable groups. Along with the young, the elderly and infirm.

I watched a prison documentary a few weeks ago which claimed that a fair number of prisoners are victims of child abuse/molestation themselves, and so they harbor considerable rage toward molesters. They interviewed one such prisoner who was proud of, and quite enjoyed, his pastime of ferreting out molesters in the prison population and assaulting them.

Many criminals would light a child on fire to warm their hands.

Yes I have no doubt thats true. Rage against molestors does not equal having a soft spot for children. In dealing with many criminals over the years I can assure you that being good with children is not a common trait.

Having a soft spot for children doesn’t mean you’re good with them.

So the tiny little vengeful monster inside of me smiles a bit that kiddie diddlers are sought out and brutalized in prison.

A great many prisoners are bullies. Bullies will pick on anyone they perceive as weaker than themselves. Because society holds child molesters in contempt, and nobody is going to go out of their way to protect a child molester, then the bullies can have their way.

And that’s what happens; it isn’t that prisoners are really sentimental about children or “innocents” as claimed above - those are justifications, not reasons - it’s that they will prey on anyone perceived as weak and friendless. Prisons are full of playground bullies grown to adult size.

Well that’s simple, dismissing everyone as a bunch of sixth graders. People are in prison for all kinds of shit, from stealing cars to selling weed. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to regard the kinds of people in for committing heinous crimes, such as raping kids, as particularly contemptible, especially if a disproportionate amount of the population has been abused as children themselves. I’m not saying they’re a bunch of concerned housewives shrieking “Won’t someone think of the children?” but I’m not buying that there’s no particular rage against molesters, and the sole reason prisoners beat them up is because they can.