United States

A Florida prisoner whom we will identify only as P.R. was beaten, suffered a serious eye injury, and assaulted by an inmate armed with a knife, all due to his refusal to submit to anal sex.

After six months of repeated threats and attacks by other inmates, at the end of his emotional endurance, he tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists with a razor. In a letter to Human Rights Watch, he chronicled his unsuccessful efforts to induce prison authorities to protect him from abuse. Summing up these experiences, he wrote: "The opposite of compassion is not hatred, it's indifference."

Human Rights Watch undertook three years of research to expose the problem of male rape in U.S. prisons. The resulting 378-page report is based on information from over 200 prisoners spread among thirty-four states, some of whom were interviewed personally, as well as an exhaustive survey of state prison authorities.

Case Histories
  • Rodney Hulin

  • S.M.

  • C.R.

  • R.G.

  • L.O.

  • P.E.

  • S.H.

  • M.R.

  • P.N.

  • L.T.

  • W.H.

  • Voices

  • Voices 1

  • Voices 2

  • Voices 3
  • Report

  • View online
  • Order it


  • Articles
  • Related sites
  • Court cases
  • Laws & policies