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Sexual Violence: Current Issues Among Adolescents & Juveniles in Detention


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Panelists: Linda MacFarland, MSW, LCSW., Deputy Executive Director, Just Detention International
Sari Lorge, Rape Prevention Education Coordinator, Peace Over Violence

February 7, 2012

Published in: Education
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Sexual Violence: Current Issues Among Adolescents & Juveniles in Detention

  1. 1. Just Detention International (JDI) is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention. 1
  2. 2. JDI’s Core Beliefs: • When the government takes away someone’s freedom, it takes on an absolute responsibility to protect that person’s safety. • No matter what crime someone might have committed, rape is not part of the penalty. • Prisoner rape is preventable, through committed management, strong policies, and proper training. 2
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  4. 4. Goals of JDI’s work: • To hold government officials accountable for prisoner rape. • To change flippant public attitudes toward sexual abuse behind bars. • To ensure that survivors of this type of violence get the help they need. 4
  5. 5. Prevalence of Sexual Violence in Adult Prisons and Jails and Juvenile Facilities Estimated numbers of individuals victimized in 2008:* • Adult Prisons 91,400 • Adult Jails 108,100 • Juvenile Facilities 17,100 Total 216,600 *From the BJS surveys of sexual violence, as reported in DOJ PREA Notice of Proposed Rule Making, released January 24, 2011. 5
  6. 6. Sexual Violence in Detention Sexual violence may include: – Sexual harassment – Protective pairing – Sexual exploitation – Sexual abuse – Rape – Domestic violence/battering Perpetrators may use: – Offers of protection – Threats – Coercion – Authority – Extortion – Medication/drugs – Force 6
  7. 7. Reporting Rate In 2008, there were 7,444 formal allegations of sexual abuse in adult prisons and jails throughout the US. When surveyed anonymously, 199,500 prison and jail inmates stated that they experienced sexual abuse over the same period.
  8. 8. Anyone may be a target of sexual violence in detention, but are there any groups that are at a heightened risk?
  9. 9. Model Programs: •Inmate Outreach •Paths to Recovery •PREA Implementation •Peer Education
  10. 10. Every survivor who writes to JDI receives a Survivor Packet, including JDI’s Resource Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse Behind Bars and other materials. “While incarcerated, I sustained repeated sexual assaults via forced prostitution at the hands of prison gang members. I was on the brink of suicide when a response from JDI was delivered. JDI was the only organization to offer a hand of hope when honestly I had no one. JDI's letter showed up only three days prior to the date I had selected to end my life and it gave me the hope necessary to rebuild my desire to live.” – Scott Howard, prisoner rape survivor 10
  11. 11. “I used to feel shame and humiliation about what happened to me in that Texas jail. Eventually, I came to realize that it was not my shame — it was my country’s shame.” 11 – Tom Cahill, prisoner rape survivor and former JDI President
  12. 12. 12 Troy, Frank, and Cecilia JDI Survivors Video