A recent government report shows that over 4 percent of prison inmates and just over 3 percent of jail inmates have been sexually victimized by prison staff or a fellow inmate. Those percentages when applied nationwide translates to nearly 90,000 inmates sexually abused in a 12 month period.
These statistics were formulated from inmates who had reported instances of sexual abuse. It does not take into account inmates that were reluctant to report being sexually abused for fear of retribution or personal shame. The report was issued by the Justice Department Bureau of Justice statistics covering the period between 2008-2009.
The report also found that prison sexual abuse cases were more likely to occur among female inmates than males by twice as much, at least among reported cases.
Among inmates reporting victimization from other inmates, 13 percent of male prisoners and 19 percent of male jail inmates reported being victimized within the first 24 hours after they had been admitted to a corrections facility. For women the statistics sexual abuse numbers were 4 percent for both prison and jail.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder a coalition of groups that included the American Civil Liberties Group and the Southern Baptist Convention urged him to approve some type of standards that would eliminate sexual abuse among inmates. A bipartisan Prison Rape Elimination Commission, set up by law in 2003 has come up with standards for the Attorney General to review.
A Justice Department spokesmen reported that the standards are under review and will probably be forwarded to the White House very soon.
Some of the proposals include screening of inmates for risk of victimization, and penalties for sexual predators.