Date of Award

Winter 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Justice Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Cesar J Rebellon


America's prisons are filled. The war on crime has created a bulging prison system. Inside the jails and prisons, crime -- especially rape -- occurs every day. Traditionally, the rape of prisoners in the American prison system was either ignored or the subject of bad jokes. Recently, serious inquiry has begun into the incidence of sexual assault behind prison walls. This study examines prison rape. Using data generated as a result of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, along with statistics from national databases and testimony from victims of prison rape and their advocates, this study suggests that the incidence of rape in prison in this country is significantly higher than the occurrence of sexual assault on the street; that prison rapists and victims are not defined by gender; that prison rape can be a serial crime; and that this epidemic has profound and enduring consequences for its victims - and society.