I was reminded today of a truly horrible report issued in 2001 by Human Rights Watch. It deals with the subject of rape in US prisons. It is deeply shocking.
From Hard Time:
There are probably more men than women raped in the United States every year—most of them in prison. Best estimates put the annual number of prison rapes at about 140,000, which is 50,000 more than the 90,000 or so rapes of women reported to police. Gang rape of the most brutal kind is common, and weaker prisoners often seek protection from a “daddy” who fights off other predators in exchange for total submission and sex on demand. There is an ugly racial dimension to prison rape: Blacks and Mexicans deliberately seek out white victims, and black-on-white rape is probably more common than any other kind. Prison rape is an appalling secret in a country that prides itself on human rights.
…“When a new inmate enters an open barracks prison it triggers a sort of competition among the convicts as to who will seduce and subjugate that new arrival. . . . Every new arrival is a potential victim. Unless the new arrival is strong, ugly, and efficient at violence, they are subject to get seduced, coerced, or raped … . Psychosocially, emotionally, and physically the most dangerous and traumatic place I can conceive of is the open-barracks prison when first viewed by a new inmate.”
The only sure defense against rape is the willingness to fight, and even this may be no protection against gang assault. In many prisons a small, unaggressive white is sure to be raped, probably by blacks or Hispanics. As one prison guard explains, a young white has “almost zero” chance of escaping rape “unless he’s willing to stick someone with a knife and fortunate enough to have one.” Some of the tougher inmates may even fight each other for the chance to rape an effeminate young white.
Rape is so common it has its own terminology. To rape a heterosexual man and turn him into a sexual plaything is to “turn him out,” and the victim is known as a “turnout” or “punk.” If a turnout seeks the protection of another inmate to avoid an endless series of rapes by other prisoners, he is “riding with” his protector. He becomes essentially the property of his protector and is known as his “bitch” or “ho” or “boy.”