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Dec 21, 2009




A K-9 dog was allegedly sexually assaulted by his trainers.  In October, police officers were in trouble when a film of the officers fondling the police dog's private parts was made public.  The K-9 has a legally recognized right not to be held still by five officers and masturbated.  If dogs are protected from sexual exploitation, should less be done for human beings when they are assaulted behind bars? 

The animal's ordeal was reported by PoliceOne.com at the following link: 

Five Virginia Department of Corrections Officers Charged with Animal Cruelty for Fondling K-9 
http://www.policeone.com/corrections/articles/1959492-Five-correctional-officers-charged-with-fondling-K-9/

Officers explained that it was only a training technique and not abuse. 

I used to take my dog, Shag, to see the vet at a clinic called "Pets R People Too."  Animal protection laws were strengthened over the past decade, and diligent activists see that those laws are actually enforced.  However, many people in the U.S. are deprived of DOG JUSTICE.  In fact, prison rape was found not to constitute physical injury by a federal district court in 2006.  Below is a New York Times report about pending legislation to combat that injustice in our criminal justice system. 

Legislators have made many improvements over this year regarding justice matters.  One example is a proposed bill that will address sexual abuse in prison.  If it passes, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, proposed by Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA), will allow inmates to recover damages if they are raped while in custody.

******

December 21, 2009
New York Times EDITORIAL


Combating Prisoner Abuse

When Mississippi inmates sued their prison, charging that they had been sodomized by a staff member, the claim was thrown out. Under a harsh federal law, inmates must show that they suffered a physical injury to prevail in a suit challenging cruel prison conditions. A federal district court ruled in 2006 that the alleged sexual assault did not constitute physical injury.

Congress included the physical injury requirement in the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which it passed in 1996 to deter inmates from bringing frivolous lawsuits. What the law has done instead is insulate prisons from a large number of very worthy lawsuits, and allow abusive and cruel mistreatment of inmates to go unpunished.

Legislation introduced by Representative Robert Scott, Democrat of Virginia, would undo the worst parts of that law. Most important, his legislation, the Prison Abuse Remedies Act, would remove the physical injury requirement. Prisons across the country have used this requirement to dismiss suits challenging all kinds of outrageous treatment: strip-searching of female prisoners by male guards; revealing to other inmates that a prisoner was H.I.V.-positive; forcing an inmate to stand naked for 10 hours.

Mr. Scott’s bill would allow prisoners to prevail under the same conditions as plaintiffs in other kinds of civil rights cases.

Juvenile inmates are not a significant source of frivolous lawsuits, but they are at increased risk of abuse in prison, especially sexual abuse. The current House bill would remove all of the 1996 law’s restrictions for suits brought by inmates under the age of 18. ( See the entire article at the link below.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/21/opinion/21mon3.html

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Happy heroes day to Rep. Scott! 

Animal rights activists are free to advocate for animals without reprisal.  This is not always true of human rights advocates.  Let us be reminded that inmates are people, too, and some are innocent.  Many innocent people are imprisoned for months until trial because they lack bail money.  Children who are tried as adults are sentenced to the same prisons as pedophiles, and they have no legal recourse after sexual predators assault them.  Our most vulnerable citizens, the mentally ill, are imprisoned at the rate of 1.25 million sick people.  Not only are they cruelly incarcerated for having a common, treatable health condition, but many of them are being sexually violated - males and females alike.  Rape is traumatic for anyone, but the violent assault especially traumatizes children and mentally ill inmates.

If you agree with Rep. Scott that human beings are physically harmed by rape and should be protected from prison abuse, please use this link to urge your representatives to support Rep. Scott's remedy to prevent more tragedy under the Prison Abuse Remedies Act.  Use this link to email your representative:  www.house.gov/writerep/ 

It is right for us to take care of animals.  But may God bless us to care as much about our fellow man as we do man's best friend!  Lawmakers and judges should carefully consider how their decisions impact millions of people's lives and our society as a whole.  They should use the Golden Rule test to decide what is just. Officials would not want their children or disabled loved ones raped or otherwise mistreated in captivity.  Therefore, the 1996 law should no longer be allowed to deprive inmates of legal remedy following sexual assault.

Police officers in Virginia were made to stop fondling their K-9 dogs.  Support for the Prison Litigation Reform Act will help people behind bars also have DOG JUSTICE. 

Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI

JAIL IS THE LAST THING THAT MENTAL
PATIENTS NEED, AND TOO OFTEN, IT IS THE VERY LAST THING THEY
EXPERIENCE. Please join our effort to decriminalize mental illness.
No one deserves to be punished for having a disability.


 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

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Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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