Female Prison Inmates Often Suffer Horrible Abuses from Male Guards

Mary Thompson at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Calif.,

Does it make sense to allow women to be guarded by men?  Does it make even more sense that, in many cases, these guards get the benefit of the doubt from authorities and are often unsupervised?   That’s what people are starting to question and challenge.

Eleanor J. Bader at Truthout.org writes on the issue, stating that it’s time to examine how our nation deals with female prison inmates and the entire system itself.   She notes the massive power imbalance set to occur when men are allowed to guard women and maintain a position of authority.

Allowing male guards to oversee female prisoners is a recipe for trouble, says former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn. Now a frequent lecturer on incarceration policies and social justice, Whitehorn describes a culture in which women are stripped of their power on the most basic level. “Having male guards sends a message that female prisoners have no right to defend their bodies,” she begins. “Putting women under men in authority makes the power imbalance as stark as it can be, and results in long-lasting repercussions post- release.”

Bader and others are speaking about the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) that is set to go before lawmakers soon. The law is going to be the first in history to address the prison rape problem which affects both men and women.   She notes also that between 1980 and 2010, the number of female prisoners shot up by 646 percent.  Most of the offenders were non-violent and this number doesn’t include the numbers in local jails or on parole.

Prisoners’ rights activists note that, more often than not, these women enter the criminal justice system with long histories of domestic and other abuse. Indeed, a2007 study by The American Civil Liberties Union found that 92 percent of California’s female prisoners had been abused in some way prior to being taken into custody.

The Center for Child and Family Studies at the University of South Carolinacorroborates this finding and notes that many teenage girls experienced their first arrest shortly after fleeing abusive homes. “What may be remarkable within this sample is the cumulative impact of cumulative victimization over the life span,” CCFS researchers report. “Many of the women suffered multiple traumas. They were victimized in multiple ways – child abuse and neglect, adult relationship violence, sexual violence, not to mention the number of times they experienced each type of victimization.” The Center calls it “poly-victimization” and cites women’s efforts to stop aggression or retaliate against an aggressor as a key reason many are behind bars. The researchers also note that a history of sexual abuse typically leads to other problems, including unplanned pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, low self-esteem, depression and addiction – issues that can make incarceration exceptionally difficult.





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8 Responses to Female Prison Inmates Often Suffer Horrible Abuses from Male Guards

  1. Ms. Miller December 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    It is time to examine and investigate the entire PRISON SYSTEM. The abuse of women at the hands of corrupt guards is not new.

    The U.S. locks up more people than any other nation on Earth and thousands and thousands of prisons are there for petty nonsense or they are completely innocent.

    It has been a long time problem…historical…just like the VIOLENCE of this nation. In fact, the U.S. started out in a lot of violence…killing off Indians and enslaving Black folks. So — we should not be shocked at all of the cruelty, gun killings, abuse, etc. that are happening NOWADAYS.

    Check out this video no America’s VIOLENT TRADITION:


  2. Mike C. Okereke December 22, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I agree, it is unacceptable

  3. Derrick December 23, 2012 at 6:02 am

    This is just modernized slavery! Our women are still abused just like they were during our forced enslavement.

    The slave maker would r*ape, beat, so*domi*ze, and impregnate the enslaved women. He woud even cut the baby out of a pregant woman’s womb, when she was hanging from a tree!!! He would STOMP it to DEATH!!! These caucasoid males are the real DEADBEAT dads on this planet!!! This mentality is nothing new because these caucasoids were born violent, evil, wicked, and animalistic.

    Yes, we were enslaved, but OURstory is not just of being enslaved. Their his-story/his-LIE books never put the Truth in their books ABOUT OUR GLORIOUS PAST before we became enslaved. Also, the AFrikan Olmecs were the FIRST group of people to inhabit amerikkka, not the so-called indian. The Olmecs were here over 100,000 years ago trading with their brothers in AFrika!!!

    The world was once a peaceful globe, until these caucasians came, and started usurping Black and brown people around the world. Once they had their weapons, that’s when they gained control over people. Without their weapons; they’re nothing, but a bunch of cowards!!!


    I’M OUT!

  4. Ish Muhammad January 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

    These UnLawOverseers harass Women on the Streets especially Prostitutes Sadistic Crackers snakeassMF’s I wish we could push all y’all into a Lake of Fire! Damn Devils

  5. truthspks January 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    I have no doubt that there are abuses in these institutions. But’s let’s be real here I’m sure some of these sexual relations that are occurring are of mutual consent and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if most of them are initiated by the woman themselves. Because they’re incarcerated doesn’t mean their desire or need for male companionship stops they’re no different then men to be blunt they want & need it to.


  6. sonja January 24, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I attended a class last week there are condoms.were if the rapist enter he can not exit. It has to be surgically removed. These are available in America but women in Africa use them because rape is something that happens daily. Maybe they should offer them in prisons.

  7. Elizabeth January 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Our young people have fallen in love with the thug life. I can’t have pity on them when they cry foul.

    Don’t put yourself in a jail situation.

    In the next 20 years there will be two types of jobs, (1) Inmate, (2) Guard.

    Most women of color, young women and attractive women are abused by other inmates and guards…don’t go to jail, guards could care less about protecting you. I have friends in law enforcemet who say of males and females who holler for help during rapes or beat-downs by other inmates “they have to learn the ropes”. They said they ignore it or look on and enjoy the show. SICK!

  8. Raven February 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Everyone is writing about this..How is it going to get implemented? I am watching a show right now on abuse in Women Prisons and from what I am viewing I am sure this all goes on. How can we help them? These people need our help.


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