The general public considers rape a crime with exclusively female victims, this is untrue. Just as many men are victims of rape. In the American prison system, thousands of inmates are raped every year. The sexual assaults are usually very violent and emotionally and psychologically traumatizing to the victim. Prison administration often overlooks these assaults, claiming some excuse to wiggle out of responsibility. Rape is rape, no matter the legal circumstance of the victim. If stricter policies concerning sexual assault in prisons were put in place, then these attacks could be prevented.
Some people may wonder if a policy concerning prison rape is really needed. Why should the government protect convicts, especially from one another? Many might feel like the inmates are receiving their just desserts for choosing a life of crime. The victims of prison rape, however, generally do not fit the profile of a hardened criminal; most of the victims are first time inmates. Journalist Carolyn Marshall of the New York Times published an article on the subject of prison rape that details an account from such a victim:
T. J. Parsell was a lanky pimple-faced adolescent bent on mischief. So when he found a toy gun one evening in 1978 while wandering home from a high school party, he thought nothing of pointing it at a store clerk and grumbling, "Your money or your life." He got $50 for what he now calls "a stupid impulsive prank." The incident landed the 17-year-old Parsell in an adult jail, where on his first night, an older inmate spiked his drink with Thorazine and sexually abused and raped him. "While my friends prepared for our high school prom, I was being gang raped," Mr. Parsell testified …(Marshall)
Parsell’s story is not an uncommon one, an article published to Legalaffairs.org lists three different statistics on the prevalence of rape in prisons, one each from the line officers, the higher-ranking officials, and the inmates themselves. The...