Reading a Slate article on Prison Rape.
I don’t mean to be a buzzkill, but I think that the American Prison System is FUBAR.
Department of Justice Stats
It needs fundamental structural reforms. It’s bad economics to destroy lives. The point is to get people out of the Criminal Justice System and back into the Economy.
People laugh, but seriously, prison is hell-on-earth.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch synthesized data and various perception surveys from around the United States and conservatively concluded that approximately 20 percent of all inmates are sexually assaulted in some way and at least 7 percent raped. A cautious inference is that nearly 200,000 current inmates have been raped and nearly 1 million have been sexually assaulted over the past 20 years. And, as HRW notes, prisoners with certain characteristics—first offenders, those with high voices and passive or intellectual personalities—face far higher probabilities.
I don’t have a high voice. That’s about all I got going for me.
The HRW 7% estimate may be accurate but it is not Scientific. They don’t include any Stats. I think this line of research needs more funding.
What really made me want to cry was the Case Studies. I don’t even recommend reading them. I just think that there needs to be more research on the economic benefits of Healthy Prisons. You can make money running a Healthy Prison. Less mentally fucked up inmates means less recidivism, which means less future costs. If a Private Prison Contractor can show lower recidivism rates they can get government contracts. Which are worth millions of dollars. The savings to the government and the taxpayer would be billions of dollars. This only works if Halliburton isn’t in the Prison Business. (Bush Donor Stats from OpenSecrets.org)
I think the 7% estimate is probably right, but it needs Stats behind it if you really want to change government policy.