But even in the rare cases where there is enough evidence to prove that sexual abuse occurred, and that a correctional officer is responsible for it, the perpetrator rarely faces prosecution. While most prison staff shown to be involved in sexual misconduct lost their jobs, fewer than half were referred for prosecution, and only 1 percent ultimately got convicted.
Roughly one-third of staff caught abusing prisoners are allowed to resign before the investigation comes to a close, the report concludes, meaning there's no public record of what exactly transpired and nothing preventing them from getting a similar job at another facility.
"These findings point to a level of impunity in our prisons and jails that is simply unacceptable," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International, a prisoner advocacy group in California. "When corrections agencies don't punish or choose to ignore sexual abuse committed by staff members–people who are paid by our tax dollars to keep inmates safe–they support criminal behavior."
It's part and parcel for what has happened in our prison state. Dehumanize them, warehouse them, isolate them and ruin their chances when they leave. I don't know many people I've heard talking about how they hoped someone would be raped in prison— including "progressives." They want prison to be harsh and unyielding and not caring about what types of human rights violations happen in prison are no concern in our society. It's appalling.
This is just one more reason why we need a more robust prison rights movement and a more serious discussion about ways of resolving social problems through other means than imprisonment.