Although prison rape is prevalent, many individuals find it normal and even find it a laughing matter. Prison rape is abnormal and has huge consequences if not dealt with. Some of the consequences of prison rape are that it creates hierarchy between the weaker and the stronger, prisoners may leave prison worse-off and make more damage than they did before they went to jail, and women are at risk of pregnancy. Even though statistics are misleading due to the unreported rapes, a professor from the University of South Dakota, Cindy Struckman Johnson, found that 20 % of inmates in men’s prisons were victims of some sort of sexual harassment and at least 7 % are raped. That is 12,000 rapes per year “which exceeds the annual number of reported rapes in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York combined” (Daniel Brook).
In the United States 2,193,798 people are held in Federal prisons, local prisons and local/county jails. In local prisons 64.2 % of the inmates have a mental illness, 56.2 % in Federal prisons and 44.8 % in state prisons. Most of the inmates could have prevented their stay at the prisons if they were provided help for their illness, however they were not and they still have to serve their sentenced time. The inmates locked up are abused daily by other inmates or even the officers in charge. They cannot help they have illness and it is not fair that they have to suffer a punishment worse than they already have to.
To make matters worse, when prisoners are being abused by staff members, they face grave consequences and retaliation. Many inmates are nonviolent offenders and most are suffering from drug addiction, mental illness or crushing poverty. Prison rape should not be an unpreventable feature of incarceration. There are many problems that have arisen because of the prison rape crisis in America. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “prison and jail administrators reported 8,763 cases of alleged sexual abuse of inmates 2011, representing an increase of 4 percent from the 8,404 that were reported in 2010 and an 11 percent jump from the 7,855 reported in 2009.” Accusations of rape and sexual assault concerning inmates are steadily rising, and correctional officer... ... middle of paper ... ...g amongst the prisons in the United States, so are health issues.
Thousands of people statewide are in prisons, all for different reasons. However, the amount of mental illness within prisons seems to go unaddressed and ignored throughout the country. This is a serious problem, and the therapy/rehabilitation that prison systems have do not always help those who are mentally ill. Prison involvement itself can contribute to increased suicide (Hills, Holly). One ‘therapy’ that has increased throughout the years has been the use of solitary confinement, which has many negative effects on the inmates. When an inmate has a current mental illness, prior to entering into the prison, and it goes undiagnosed and untreated, the illness can just be worsened and aggravated.
But if the crime was enough to be charged as an adult then they will go to a state prison. In those cases most juveniles are put in solitary confinement cells, isolating them from other inmates. Some say that it is a way to "protect" the juveniles from other adult inmates, staying for weeks or months, but that does not change the fact that solitary confinement can cause a serious damage
More specifically, “Inmates in solitary, for example, have been found to engage in self-mutilation at rates that are higher than the general prison population. Prisoners in solitary confinement accounted for nearly half of all suicides” (Breslow) solitary confinement not only endangers the prisoner and makes the prisoners more unpredictable than before, being alone for such a long period of time away from any human contact drives the prisoner absolutely insane to the point in which mutilation is possible. Cases have been made in which prisoners have been so psychologically damaged by solitary confinement that the prisoner is not in the correct state of mind and decides to mutilate themselves. The problems created by solitary confinement outweigh the benefits because prisoners because more much more unpredictable and menacing toward others due to the fact that they will start hallucinating because of the psychological effects created by the solitary
Statistics show that one in every three black men can expect to go to prison at least once in their lives. This level of incarceration explains why there is a higher percentage of men sleeping with men. Homosexual rape is generally perceived as a common occurrence in male prisons. According to Saum’s article “..studies show that inmate involvement in sexual acts within the confines of prisons varies greatly… Sexual activity is also most consensual. People I know don't use protection because it's not available.
American Civil Liberties Union, "Mental Illness and the Death Penalty in the United States," ACLU, January 31, 2005. Reproduced by permission. In the article “The Mentally Ill Are Mishandled by the Justice System”, Shannon explains how there are approximately 3000 mentally ill inmates in a prison who are unjustfuly sent there. Many mental illnesses are cause by post traumatic experiences such as being abused as a child or being sexually abused as a child. She also explains how many times judges and officers do not fully understand why mentally ill people do what they do, therefore they misunderstand the person’s actions and send them.
Untreated symptoms of mental illness often pose health and social consequences for individuals. One such consequence is involvement with crime and the criminal justice system. Currently the majority of the prison population in the United States suffers from a diagnosable mental illness. Suffering from psychotic disorders, including Bi-Polar Disorder and Schizophrenia. Is prison where they belong?
Communicable diseases are common among approximately 1.2 million inmates in U.S. prisons and jails. Inmates in prisons and jails represent a portion of the population that is difficult to treat within the community. Many of the inmates are poor and do not have access to health care outside of correctional facilities. Their lifestyles outside of the prisons and jails may also make compliance with different types of health care difficult. Inmates within many institutions undergo a physical examination and testing for certain communicable diseases.