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Perspectives

Article Title

Literature Review

Publication Date

5-1-2009

Abstract

In 2007 there were a total of 2, 293, 257 prisoners in the United States (US Department of Justice). The number of individuals incarcerated in the U.S. has been increasing over the last 30 years (Jones & Pratt 2008). There are a number of negative consequences associated with the rising number of prison inmates. This increase in prisoners has led to an increase in homicide, violence and sexual assaults within prison walls (Colvin 1992). Approximately 300,000 inmates per year report being victims of sexual violence (Anderson 2001). There are 196,000 male prisoners every year who fall victim to sexual assaults (Anderson 2001). Sexual violence in prison has been a topic that has been significantly under-researched. There are many different types of sexual violence seen in prison and all can result in physical as well as emotional trauma for the victims (Lipscomb, Muram, Speck, & Mercer, 1992). This paper will address the prevalence of sexual violence that exists in American prisons. It will also examine the characteristics of the perpetrators as well as the victims, the types of assaults and the consequences these attacks have on the victim. It will also briefly identify what the government is doing to address and prevent the incidence of sexual assaults in our prisons.

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