The plight of American female inmates

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The plight of American female inmates

The plight of American female inmates: The sexual violence in women’s federal prisons reaches dangerous proportions.

The United States has attempted for long to paint itself as a pioneer in protecting women’s social rights, though contrary to the empty claims of the country’s officials, women in the United States face a plethora of violations of their rights.

While the United States is home to just 5% of the world’s female population, it jails approximately 30% of the world’s female convicts, twice as many as China and four times as many as India.

Even American states with relatively low imprisonment rates have far higher rates than the rest of the globe. In El Salvador, where abortion is outlawed, the rate of female inmates is identical to that in Illinois. New York is equivalent to Rwanda, and New Hampshire is comparable to Russia. If it were a nation, Rhode Island, which has the lowest rate of female imprisonment in the United States, would have the 15th highest rate of female incarceration in the world.

Women made up about 10% of the fatalities in American prisons in 2000. By 2018, the number had risen to 16.1%. Prison officials in the United States claim that prisons are hazardous environments, but African-American women in particular are more susceptible to sexual and physical abuse because many prisons are located in rural areas and prison officers are overwhelmingly white males.

Even though attempts have been made to curb it, sexual harassment of female detainees by federal prison staff remains a major concern. A study by a bipartisan panel in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that there were 5,415 abuse reports to the Federal Bureau of Prisons between 2012 and 2022. Since 2012, female inmates had been sexually assaulted by prison guards in 19 of the 29 correctional facilities studied.

As social analyst Amanda Dukes puts it, “This thirty-page study took eight months to produce.” The report is a shocking indictment of the prison administration for failing to protect female detainees from sexual abuse. These offences were committed by various individuals, including guards and even prison priests. The majority of these actions also occurred in Florida prisons. Dukes stated that a decade of research shows that sexual assaults against female inmates have occurred in two-thirds of federal prisons, including Coleman.

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