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A Discussion From Another Group December 14, 2004 3:25 AM

Someone at Support of Friends has a Discussion up, MY NEW LAW FOR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF RAPE BEING... . NOW I don't think anyone should go over to SOF and debate the topic with the woman, as SOF is not that kind of group, BUT WE CAN DISCUSS IT HERE.

Rape and molestation are horrendous crimes, but the idea of paying the victims life long restitution bothers me, because it doesn't take in mitigating factors of why the person may have commited the crime in the first place.  For example, they could've been mentally ill, mentally retarded or under the influence of an extreme  and severe drug addiction. This law does not settle well with me, although I feel for the victims and sympathize with their plight, I don't like the idea of mandatory laws of any kind when it comes to crimes and criminals.

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Noel, glad you happened December 15, 2004 3:21 PM

to see that group discussion. Yes, it`s doubtful anything constructive could come of entering into that discussion but it does bring up an important point.

If life-long compensation should be due to victims of rape (because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc) then it should be due to ALL victims of rape.

Inmate Victims Of Rape

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2001/prison/report.html

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Good Point, Donna December 16, 2004 1:09 AM

Very few people think about rape that happens to people IN prison. It's highly unlikely such a law would compensate these men, because of the complications of reporting abuse by an inmate from other inmates and how so much of it is overlooked and ignored. And yet, I'm sure the experience is just as traumatic.  [ send green star]
 
It may have sounded a bit December 16, 2004 4:05 AM

"tongue in cheek" but Government and/or Employers of privately run prisons (Wackenhut, as example), management, supervisers etc, and their policies create dangerous environments both for those working in the prisons and the inmates themselves.  [ send green star]
 
Related Link December 16, 2004 5:41 PM

I found a site for an organization: Stop Prisoner Rape

http://www.spr.org/

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SPR December 16, 2004 5:56 PM

was the first and one of the few sites about prisoner rape. The founder was a courageous man who suffered from both AIDS (contracted from his jailhouse gang rape while guards looked the other way) and PTSD until his death. He originated the group and site and posted horrendous details of his ordeal in its earlier days online. May he rest In Peace and may others carry on, not letting him suffer and die in vain.

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Rapists and Molesters December 28, 2004 5:31 PM

Even after serving their prison time, the punishment continues for all rapists (which includes teenagers having consensual sex--aka "statutory rape," molesters, or even just some guy who may have been arrested for exposing himself by urinating behind a bar against a tree.

Once these guys are released, they are required (within 24 hours) to register with the local police as "sex offenders"  (even the poor guy who drank too much beer and took a pee outside).  This list is sometimes published in local papers and is always available to anyone who requests it.

Imagine trying to get a job or place to live when the law requires one to disclose that he  is a "sex offender."

Imagine trying to find new friends.

The punishment actually goes on forever.

Jim @

http://www.jimmylerner.com

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The punishment Goes On... December 28, 2004 6:23 PM

forever. I was thinking about this, just today, as a matter of fact. Its not only the sex offenders who have a tough go at it once they get out. What with all the landlord background checks, etc. WHERE in God`s name can they rent? Motels, thats about it, since many don`t have families to come back to. Motels, even dumps, are about $150- $250 per week, even the dumps. Who can afford that? Least of all a just released offender?

And people wonder why they return to a life of crime....to pay the rent maybe?

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 January 02, 2005 12:39 AM

Several things I would like to add in this discussion...

What about the women raped in prison? I only read about the men so far here.

The life of many incest/rape victims has repercussions for life for the victim. There is no fair recompence for what was taken or damaged for the suvivor...regardless of the "mitigating factors" for the abuser. This also has to be kept in mind otherwise there can never be any real justice, mercy, forgiveness, or anything else--for victim, abuser, or society.

Does an incestor or rapist ever really change? Is there "rehabilitation" or recompense? The stats are not very promising...

...and part of the not promising parts include our society's attitudes on women, power, sex, violence, etc.

...plus, our system for penalizing, incarcerating, and never really accepting ex-cons back into society. Sometimes, society has good reasons for the nonacceptance, but society tends to prefer not thinking...which leads to stereotyping people into little boxes (in other words-bigotry) ... So, neither the victim (who is often avoided as crazy, ruined, broken, etc.) nor the perpetrator (who is avoided as dangerous, ruined, etc.) has a chance all too often.

So, we must work on multiple levels for real change. Where do we begin or continue at this point?

It is very important, as Noel has shown, that we work toward a legal system that is more human/humane...geared to individual cases and real justice, etc. rather than the arbitrary harshness and unfairness we have now where some get slammed, some go free for even bigger crimes, victims get double slammed or not believed, some get lied on, etc. The inequalities in the meting out of sentencing and the unequal representation for all sides has left us with more problems and less safety, little healing, and less cohesion as individuals and as a community/society. All sides must have a fair system (fair for all and not just for those who can afford to pay) ... perps, victims, and society ... or we cannot heal nor function correctly.

And, yes, "perps" can and often are also victims. There are few, if any, clear cut boundaries as to who is who. Does severe punishment help anyone? I have not seen much good from it yet.

And finally for now, there is such a thing as a life debt that one owes to another. It is a matter of honor and responsibility. It is a service to the one owed as much as to oneself. Our society could use this lesson as well...and it would work in the situations being discussed here. But, it would have to be from a societal level...

Anyway, these are just a few thoughts this important discussion brought to my mind. Thank you for having it.

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It is estimated January 02, 2005 8:57 AM

That at least 10 percent of child molestors are women, which rarely gets any notice at all. True there are both male and female victims. I only hear about the men who are raped in prison, but not women. Does it occur in women's prisons? I'm sure it does, but I can't find any statistics to date. When I worked in the Pre-release center for women, more than 600 women came through the program while I was there and not one of them was raped in prison. Outside of prison the rate of rapes was high. So I would say it does have a long lasting effect on women who are sexaully molested, and or raped as children because it is a violent offense against either sex.

Pedohile priests have been identified only to be tranfered to antoher parish to continue their sexaul assaults on innocent trusting children, the majority being male children. Many Roman Catholic churches are closing in order to pay the restitution that runs into the millions of dollars, but the victims are not copensated for the rest of their lives. If an offender is serving a very long sentence how is it possible to pay any restitution at all? No one gets rich in prison.

Rapes in male prisons are very frequent, but we hardly hear of them on the local news. The matter is handled within the prison system, and is kept secret from society. The real question is: will society change its opinion based on the number of violent crimes in prisons, or will they say they deserve whatever they get while incarcerated?

I would like to believe they would show more empathy, but more often that is not the case. There are memebers of society who even object to imates having a TV in their cell, or a library, or any type of rehabilitation.

AS for those who have committed a violent crime of rape, or child molestation; and having to register as an offender with the local police department where they are going to live is  to protect the public. We as the public have the right to protect our children from sexual predators. There may be mitigating factors that we should take into consideration, and not prevent them from obtaining housing and employment. However, the problem I see is that the whole of society goes bonkers when they know a sexual predator is living in their neighborhoods. Plus there are different levels of offenders. From level 1-3, 3 being the most dangerous. There have been proposals to keep child molestors incarcerated for life because there is no cure for them? I am not that knowlegable to say whether there is a cure or not. That is up to Forensic Psychiatrist to make that determination. I'm not qualified.

In closing there are valid points to each thread in this discussion, but life long compensation isn't feasable. All of us who suffer from PTSD or other mental health problems are not compensated by those who caused the trauma, and are getting along the best way we know how. Some of us are on disabiltity and some of us are not. I have never been compensated by my dad.

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Daphne January 02, 2005 9:19 AM

Yes, of course the women get raped in U.S. prisons, both by guards and female inmates BUT not anywhere near the MAGNITUDE of male inmates.

The reason for this is that male inmate rape is about POWER. Its an institutional society built on power. New inmates are faced with a choice, rape or be raped.

Inmates that would never ordinarily commit rape on anyone, neither male nor female find they have to quickly establish themselves in the power hierarchy or become one of many victims inside.

What`s more important is how prison management and the correction officers encourage it by turning the other way while these acts are being perpetrated on the victims.

It could not exist without this. Management and officers "excuse" their behavior in allowing it by saying it placates the inmates and keeps them happy, thus easier to manage. Nonsense. More desperation, paranoia, attacks, murders and suicides are caused by this power hierachy than anything else.

This goes on in prisons coast to coast and is a disgrace to the U.S. Correctional system.

Not to mention the impact this existing system has on society after these inmates are released. The inmates who have become accustomed to rape for power may continue to inflict their "power" on members of society after release. The inmates who were repeated victims of rape inside may go on to rape those on the outside in a vain attempt to "regain their manhood".

I have had a suspicion for years that the extraordinary rise in female rape victims in the U.S. may be to the incubation of rapists inside the power hierarchy in prisons yet no correlations have been the subject of study (to my knowledge).

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Female Prison Rape January 02, 2005 9:21 AM

The stories I've heard generally have to do with male guards sexually assaulting women, such as this one: http://www.aclu.org/Prisons/Prisons.cfm?ID=12093&c=128

I don't think it's so much an inmate to inmate problem like it is with men, though I suppose it occurs now and then.

According to the ACLU, in 1996, several female inmates filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the corrections officials had violated the civil rights of women prisoners by permitting guards to use their positions of authority to sexually assault and harass female inmates and to retaliate against those inmates who complained about such treatment. The following year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed its own action against the Michigan under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, alleging pervasive sexual misconduct against women prisoners. 

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Gay Man Sues March 13, 2005 11:32 AM

over prison abuse ordeal in Texas Prison:

http://uk.gay.com/headlines/6825

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Prison Rape In News March 13, 2005 7:31 PM

SPR

http://www.spr.org/en/news/main.html

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labels March 14, 2005 3:07 PM

Hi Jim

just reading your post about labeling sex offenders. I had the problem of being labeled a felon for spending 5 months in county jail on a drug charge and lost my CDL, now I have no way of driving for a living unless I get a pardon from the govenor.I think the laws are what is screwing us up. they group all fo us into one big group. maybe they need to ease off on these piddly drug charges and go after the big guys!!!!!!      

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Hi Billie March 14, 2005 3:48 PM

Now that wouldn`t exactly work into our Governments plans I don`t think.  The states are getting rich off taxpayers money with courts and prisons for Drug Offendors. But we can dream can`t we.....

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 March 14, 2005 7:53 PM

yes i dreamed for 5 months, and now here I sit without a job.No CDL, but at least I'm free and not eating their crap and being strip searched everyday.    [ send green star]
 
 November 06, 2005 9:32 AM

I`m just moving the Inmate Rape discussion from the $$$ For Being An Excon thread here where there is more info on it.  [ send green star]
 
 November 06, 2005 9:42 AM

A conversation sprung from that thread a few hours ago about Prisons as incubators for HIV & Hep C due to Inmate Rape.  [ send green star]
 
RELEVANT? November 06, 2005 10:36 AM

SOMTHING RELEVANT 

   talking to a woman I listened as the others did .....She wept and
            told how she had been raped and how she had a rage in her and asked
            how to make it go away......"First you must ask yourself do i want
            to re experience ? Do i want to give life to what i hate? "that was
            one moment ...Will you make that moment many moments in your life?
            or will you choose to use that rage constructively? by this i mean
            use that energy to bannish that moment from your mind refuse to be
            a mental masochist....... and here let me help you.....Kahuna
            touched her on her head, and suddenly she stood up and started
            laughing, and tears of laughter flowed from her eyes...and she
            said "i am no longer angry ,i feel no rage ! i am healed! i looked
            and the Kahuna had disappeared.....
            The rest of us walked slowly now looking for him and discussing
            what had just happened....a few were doctors and the talked among
            themselves......it was hot...and as suddenly as he had left He
            reappeared...to call us to a shade in the forest where he had
            prepared food and drink......

            We sat in a circle and to my left i could see two deer a mother and
            child laying quietly in the grass.....various birds sang their songs
            all around us....and a refreshing cool brezzzzzz moved all around
            us........and the question was asked" who is God? what is God like?
            "Well" said the Kahuna " No man or woman has seen God yet you and i
            sit here in one of many of his mansions, We sit here on his carpet
            of green grass and purple irisis " It is written We are made in the
            image of God " Is that a clue? It is written that He came to us
            taking on a body of flesh in Jesus Christ, Is that not what he is
            like? Kahuna chuckles, and smiles......."He is like that" He is one
            that has Said "I am the way" "You who are without sin cast the
            first stone" "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"
            These and many more things he said and did give you a look at His
            character and what He is like..... Look around you.....God IS and
            you may look upon his work to know Him.......

            Three women dressed in purple and white entered this glade, and lay
            down blankets and sheets......a woman and her partner went to them
            the woman limped as she had done all the way up here...... she is
            placed upon the sheets and the women circle her in a kind of ti chi
            movement a dance of slow mysterious movements , they are breathing
            on the woman as they pass their hands over her.......she stands walks

            (without the limp) and smiles at her husband......They have come all
            the way from Canada for this.......
                                      PRIESTESS GATHERING OREGON 1998

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My approach is rather different November 06, 2005 3:40 PM

Like the rest of you, I agree that prison frequently causes more trouble than it cures, and that Rape in prison is, or should be unacceptable to a civilised society.

We have to make the companies that own the private, and government owning the public, personally liable for everything that takes place in the prisons for which they are responsible.  They must be forced to operate proper screening for all new and existing staff in prisons, and undertake a full programme of training for all new recruits and continuing professional development for existing and senior staff.  Whistle blowing should have a fast track to an external authority with no institutional or personal, or political axe to grind. 

An inmate should have the right to immediate, confidential medical care when requested, and evidential processing carried out under proper forensic conditions.  Any prison officer refusing such treatment should forfeit his or her pay for that day.  Such treatment of the citizens of a civilised country should be outlawed forthwith. 

OK, so I am an idealist.  I also know nothing about how a prison is run apart from what I see on the TV, and what is much more useful, the personal experiences of members of this group.  It must make you professionals sick to your stomachs about the lack of professionalism seen in your colleagues albeit in other prisons. 

I have never thought that a criminal is a lost cause.  Whatever their crime, they should be given every opportunity to rehabilitate themselves and reform themselves and help others to do so.  Some can do it through religion, and others can do it through education, and some may not manage it at all, but they all need our love and faith in their redemption. 

The writer of "Amazing Grace" was the captain of a slave ship, and he was moved to repent.  I don't know why.  Perhaps some decency that he was exposed to as a child, maybe fear of dying in a storm, or a reflective period in the doldrums.  Did  his repentance last?  I don't know, but I am certain that he would have needed some support, and faith in his ability to build a better future. 

If you treat people in prison as unredeemable, or allow other prisoners to humiliate them and break them down even more than being sent to prison does, it is the opposite of how a prisoner should be treated.  If you treat them like bad people, they have no reason to change their ways.  Surely we want to change society, not to punish it.  Society does not stop at the prison gate. 

Sorry.  I think rape in prison, either by prison officers and professionals or by other prisoners must be stopped along with the wrongs in society as a whole.  You have to have hope that you can change the world.  Even if your efforts can only help one person, it is one person who would not have been helped without your hope for the future.  .

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Ruth November 06, 2005 4:07 PM

That was wonderful. Your words of hope made we weep tears of joy! .

I just came back from a visit with an Inmate in a local jail who is facing prison time if he doesn`t get Rehab through the courts. He`s been an addict for 20 years, in and out of Prison 5 times and the court has never given him Rehab in all that time. What is wrong with this picture? This time I and another friend of his made a concerted effort to get his Public Defender to DO HER JOB and get him an evaluation by a Rehab organization/business that works in conjunction with the court. We tried for 2 months to get him an evaluation to no avail. Then we appeared in court asking the Judge why he hasn`t gotten an evaluation to get Rehab. He got it the next day after court.  

Anyway maybe we aren`t able to help every Inmate, but as you say, if we can help just one we`ll have accomplished something.

Thanks again Ruth, I needed that!

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Ruth November 06, 2005 4:09 PM

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When You Gotta Go... May 09, 2006 2:28 PM

Having to pee outside-because of too much beer or whatever-doesn't make you a rapist. If he just exposed it so some other person has to see it would be different. I'm a woman, but I used to drink beer and have been in that situation anyway. Even in sobriety I've had to use the ladies' room, the men's room, a bush or whatever because of some trick my body's been pulling on me. People need to be freed from forced sex and harrassment-not someone who has to use the restroom! When you gotta go you gotta go! paula  [ send green star]
 
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