US Senate Report: Female Inmates Sexually Abused by Prison Workers

A report released Tuesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that federal female prison inmates nationwide have been subjected to sexual abuse by prison guards and other officials for nearly a decade.

US Senate Report: Female Inmates Sexually Abused by Prison Workers
Image credit: NPR Online News

Facts

  • A report released Tuesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that federal female prison inmates nationwide have been subjected to sexual abuse by prison guards and other officials for nearly a decade.
  • According to the report — which interviewed officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, alleged victims, and whistleblowers — prison workers sexually abused women in 19 out of the 29 women's federal prisons.
  • It added that the "seriously flawed" investigative procedures of the bureau’s Office of Internal Affairs led to a backlog of 8k cases with "at least hundreds" involving sexual abuse.
  • Several women testified about the alleged abuse on Tuesday, with one witness detailing the alleged abuse carried out by a captain at the federal prison in Alderson, W.Va., who has since been convicted of assaulting her and others.
  • Other high-level perpetrators, including the warden and chaplain of a California prison, were found to have abused inmates for years. The report claims the bureau only "began to institute agency-wide changes" after the California scandal "came to light."
  • In response, some within the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) have reportedly suggested releasing victims early, with Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco pushing the bureau to compile a list of inmates who could be freed under the compassionate release program.

Sources: Washington Post, Daily Wire, NPR Online News, and New York Times.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by The New York Times. Though this report may be news to the public, the epidemic of sexual abuse in female prisons has been a well-known secret within the government for a long time. Authorities at the DOJ and other agencies ignored such horrific acts for years, so it's only right that these victims be released early.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Map Sex Offenders. While atonement and accountability are undoubtedly needed, the primary response to this horrific phenomenon should be how to prevent it from happening in the first place. The good thing is we already know the cause — the imbalance of power between male guards and female inmates. Now, there must be a concerted effort to be proactive rather than reactive.