All too Familiar

Sexual Abuse of Women in U.S. State Prisons

Being a woman prisoner in U.S. state prisons can be a terrifying experience. If you are sexually abused, you cannot escape from your abuser. Grievance or investigatory procedures, where they exist, often do not work, and correctional employees continue to engage in abuse because they believe they can get away with it. The sexual misconduct documented in “All Too Familiar” takes many forms. Male correctional employees vaginally, anally, and orally rape female prisoners and sexually assault and abuse them. In some instances, male officers violate their most basic professional duty and engage in sexual contact with female prisoners absent the use of force or offer of any material exchange. Despite the growing number of women at risk and its obligations under domestic and international law, the U.S. government has largely abdicated its responsibility to guarantee in any meaningful way that the women who are incarcerated in its state prisons are not being sexually abused by those in authority over them.
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