United States


The first time [I was raped] I told on my attackers. All they did was moved me from one facility to another. And I saw my attacker again not too long after I tolded on him. Then I paid for it. Because I tolded on him, and he got even with me. So after that, I would not, did not tell again.
R.H., Utah, 10/22/96

Most of the assults are done through threat of violence. The actual assult is mainly done by one person but the victim knows if he defies that one person then 10 to 15 other people will jump on him when he goes somewhere. Most of the time the victim doesnt even fight because he's scared. The only time there is really a group of people doing the actual rape is when the victim is fighting back and then they will beat him up and hold him down and rape him, but that is rare.
T.B., Texas, 10/23/96

When they have a punk or a kid that they've turned out they treat them like trophies it makes them feel important or somebody with status! They thrive on the status they couldnt get in the free world. The punks or kids that they turnout they are like a flag to tell every one that this is mine I own this cause when they do turn out a guy they actually own them, every penny they get it goes to there man. You can buy a kid for 20 or 30 dollars on most wings!! They sell them like cattle.
T.B., Texas, 10/23/96

[Someone attempted to rape him using a knife as a weapon:] [The rapist and I] went in front of the disciplinary committee. . . . [The officer] said well what do you want I said P.C. He said no not on my unit. He said Im locking you up for assult with a weapon. They would rather lock me in seg than put me on P.C. So I recieved the same thing the rapist did, it doesnt make any sence.
T.B., Texas, 10/23/96

When I came out of prison, I remember thinking that others knew I had been raped just by looking at me. My behavior changed to such cold heartedness that I resented anyone who found reason to smile, to laugh, and to be happy.
B.E., Vermont, 10/26/96 (he later committed rape himself)

During my time in prison, I have seen 19 violent rapes. I hear about rapes off and on, most are not known and not reported, cause most of them take place behind closed doors. If a vicitim is scared enough, he may never tell what happen to him, it depends on what the victim is focused on, like embarrassment, shame, escape, pain, aids, suicide, or living with a scar the rest of his life as a homosexual or bisexual, not letting go of the abuse in there minds. . . . The ones who get raped here are mostly the weaker prey, or someone who's in debt, or looking protection from someone else. Rapes happen to more younger prisoners. . . . What starts the biggest problem is when that vicitim get into it with an official, and that official because of his attitude will give out information like the inmate was a childmolester.
C.K., Texas, 10/28/96

You will be lebled as a bisexual, or homosexual, pretty boy, gay, little girl, queen. Once there has been penetration or forced oral sex, the jacket is on his back, as being a punk, sissy, queer, etc.
C.K., Texas, 10/28/96

One game is to have two/three guys threaten someone, and another guy come jump into it and tell them to back off. They do and the "Savior" tells the guy he'd be better off to get a ride. Lots of new guys dont know any better, but once you accept a ride, you can never be a man again. At least here on Beto. On Ferguson you can win back your manhood (provided you were never sexually assaulted) by a number of fights.
S.H., Texas, 10/28/96

Gays are targeted as are meek, mild-mannered individuals. The general assumption is that since we are gay, we don't mind being raped, The staff pretty much thinks the same thing.
P.E., Illinois, 10/28/96

The theory is that you are not gay or bisexual as long as YOU yourself do not allow another man to stick his penis into your mouth or anal passage. If you do the sticking, you can still consider yourself to be a macho man/heterosexual, according to their theory. This is a pretty universal/widespread theory.
P.E., Illinois, 10/28/96

After all it is better to have one person that you give sexual favors than it would be to have to be forced to do the act by two or more prisoners at the same time.
M.H., Florida, 10/29/96

Prisoners pay close attention to their fellow prisoners. [One technique to force a prisoner into sex is that] one of the bad guys will set up a power play. This is accomplished by him having two or three of his friends stop down on the prisoner of his choice in a strong manner as if to fight or beat up this prisoner. This usually puts the choosen prisoner in great fear of those type guys. The prisoner that set up this will be close by when this goes down. His roll is to step in just before the act gets physical. He defends the choosen prisoner by taken on the would be offenders. This works to gain the respect and trust of the choosen prisoner. After this encounter the choosen prisoner is encouraged to hang out with his new friend. This is repeated once or twice more to convence the choosen one of the sincere loyalties of the prisoner that set all this up . . . . They become very close, the choosen one feels compelled to show his thanks by giving at first monetary favors to his protector and it progress to the point where this guy that set up the attacks on him will not accept just the money. He starts to insist on the choosen one to give him sexual favors . . . . The fear of him, the choosen one, is that if he do not have this one Protector the rest of the guys will be back after him. After all it is better to have one person that you give sexual favors than it would be to have to be forced to do the act by two or more prisoners at the same time.
M.H., Florida, 10/29/96

[S]ometimes [because of the rape] I fill like I've done something wrong but yea I hate myself for it but it was kind of hard to get away from 3 other guys. Now I'm at this place and a guy from [my last prison] got transfered here and has told alot of people what happened and now its even worse they think I'm a snitch or some one comes and starts homosexual conversations with me.
F.H., Georgia, 10/29/96

The kids I know of here are kept in the hospital part of the prison until they turn 16. Then they are placed in general population. . . . At age 16, they are just thrown to the wolves, so to speak, in population. I have not heard of one making it more than a week in population without being "laid."
D.A., Nebraska, 10/31/96 I'm a gay white slender male. That is the most terrible person to be. I'm unfortunately slightly feminine, soft as inmates say. A.H., Indiana, 11/1/96

I have made it more than clear in writing and conversation to Mr. Gilmore for 3 weeks that I feel threaghtened and unsafe sexually. He has made it clear to me that he can not save the world. And won't do any thing til I come out here with my ass torn up with sperm in it.
A.H., Indiana, (Request for Protection, signed 6/3/96, denied 6/5/96), forwarded 11/1/96

"Debt obligation" is where someone is allowed to run up a debt such as getting drugs on credit, to such a point where they can't pay it off; then the pressure (threat of violence either to the inmate, or to his family on the streets) is applied, and it becomes a "put out, or be hurt" proposition. In Max. joints, the victim is often "used" for awhile, then "run off the yard" (chased into p.c.), or traded to another group, when the users tire of him. The process of turning someone into a punk is called "turning out."
M.S., Nevada, 11/2/96

Rapes occur most often in housing units with 2 man cells, and in prisons where the inmates have less to lose if someone tells on them. Maximum security inmates often just don't "give a shit," because they have so little to lose; for them, rape is often a "win-win" situation, with no real down-side, since "hole time" simply means some extended privacy, and quiet time.
M.S., Nevada, 11/2/96

There's also a "protection" game. This is where one guy will thump a "fish" (new arrival), and another one will step in, stop the fight, and offer to protect the fish. Usually, the aggressor and "savior" are good friends. Fish who have no means of paying the protection fees are generally talked into "turning out." Eventually, the fish winds up being passed to the aggressor, as a "peace offering."
M.S., Nevada, 11/2/96

A male con maintains his sense of masculinity by forcing himself on another male, because the victim is reduced to a punk, "pussy," or coward by not preventing it.
A.P., Kansas, 11/4/96

I go through nightmares of being raped and sexually assaulted. I can't stop thinking about it. I feel everyone is looking at me in a sexual way.
J.D., Texas, 11/5/96

On January 27, 1993, I was what is called checked to see if I was a strong white inmate. I had to fight 4 different inmates back to back. I can not fight real good. (I have a bad left leg.) My cellie allowed this to happen. At rack time, my cellie and I fought. (He is 200 lbs and muscled. A stocky inmate that is known to fight 2 or more at one time and win.) He knocked me out and I came to while he was sexually assaulting me anally. He told me if I told anyone he would kill me. . . . I was moved to another pod, where I was sold as a piece of meat. I was sold to the highest bidder by the white inmates. I was sold to a black inmate named Gray Top. From February to the end of April I was forced to perform all types of sexual acts. I was rented out to other black inmates. I finally went to staff and refused to go back to my cell. The indangerment paperwork was filed. Classification was ran and I was put in safekeeping for 2 years. . . . I was shipped to another unit from Colfield unit on July 14, 1995. I was housed in closed custody where I was the only white inmate on my wing out of 48 inmates! I was in 13 fights in 14 days. I was sexually assaulted by 4 inmates (black). I went to staff. I was shipped to the Mark W. Stiles unit. I refused to go to my housing assignment due to I was being put back into a life threatening condition. So I started to threaten the first black inmate I came into contact with. I was put in prehearing detention. That's September 15, 1995. I started possessing a weapon and threatening black inmates. That was the only way staff officials would keep me locked up in a single cell.
J.D., Texas, 11/5/96

In my view the perpetrator of rape is an angry man. He lacks power and decides to steal it from others through assault . . . . In my observation, the more oppressive the system the higher the incidents of assaultive behavior in general. This had been evident over the years here as we fell under the control of various wardens with a variety of concepts of how to treat prisoners (and staff). Fair and objective treatment seems to create a less-assaultive environment.
The victims I'm familiar with seem to have one thing in common, they each had some quality or trait that was interpreted by their rapists as saying, "I am vulnerable." . . . . The traits that seem to communicate "vulnerability" seem to be traits that are consistent with feminine and/or childlike qualities. These include passivity, being slight of stature, and probably most common, being young . . . . Conversely, a person who demonstrates aggressive qualities, or confidence and self assurance is not attractive to the perpetrator. One thing I hear people tell a young guy is to "get some ugly on him." That means growing facial hair, getting some tattoos, and looking unkempt.
D.G., Virginia, 11/7/96

The greatest preventive measure [against rape] is posting staff, monitoring areas that are high risk for assault. The reality however, is that funding for prison administration doesn't provide for adequate patrolling . . . . Prisoners are pretty much left on their own.
D.G., Virginia, 11/7/96

Over the years it has become evident that if a man reports that he has been raped he naively sets himself up for additional victimization, this time by the prison administration. Case in point: One of the victims I know was raped at knife point by his cell partner the third night after his arrival at the prison. The next morning he stayed in bed until the rapist left, then he used the toilet, showered, and reported the rape to his counselor. She notified the watch commander and sent the victim to medical. They informed him that there was nothing they could do since the evidence was eliminateed by using the toilet and showering. The watch commander locked him up in protective custody ostensibly to keep him safe while they conducted an investigation. He stayed in there for weeks with no communication about the investigation or when it would be safe for him to return to population. He finally chose to forego further "protective custody" and return to population. He learned that except for a brief shakedown of the rapist's cell (they wanted the knife but it was hidden the first morning after) nothing else had been done. There was nothing ever said of any investigation or any results. The rapist was free all the time the victim was locked up and continued to be. This seems to be the pattern when reporting rapes except that often the victim is transferred to another prison.
D.G., Virginia, 11/7/96

On maximum security wings, blacks and whites don't even sit together. The Blacks have there own benches and the Mexicans have theres and the Whites if there are enough to fight for one has theres. And if a white went to sit on a Black bench he would be jumped on ditto for blacks and Mexicans. Even in celling assignments the whites will refuse to live with a colored or a mexican because there cellie who has friends will steel there stuff or they will jump on the white dude so they refuse to live with them. And if a white dude kicks it or talks to blacks or mexicans a lot of the whites will run court on him (court means an ass whoppin). Its the same for blacks and mexicans. . . . The whites hate the Blacks and Mexicans because those two races have a lot of people in here and take advantage of us by making the small and week ones ride or turn them out, and the big ones have to fight all the time. If you come in here as a non-racial white man and you fight for your proporty more than likely when you leave you'll be a full fledge KKK member! There are a lot of racial groups here and with the way the whites get treated, they get mixed up in those groups and become haters. Prison is the best recruiting ground the white power movement has!
T.B., Texas, 11/15/96

Safe keeping is a wing where supposely inmates who are week and cant stand up for them selves are put. But its not too friendly because its easy to get on and that is where they put homo/bi/trans/sexuals. So a lot of hard core convicts want to go over and sometimes they do make it. If you ask any guard the close custody safe keeping wing is more violent than the regular one is.
T.B., Texas, 11/15/96

The prison system is just a stage of the final solution to get rid of America's so-called problem, especially the Blacks and the Latinos. I ask the question [is it] bad luck, good luck or a set up that the prison system in the U.S. is half filled with Blacks when in fact they don't even make-up of the population of the U.S.? . . . When individuals come to prison, they know that the first thing that they will have to do is fight. Now there are individuals that are from a certain race that the majority of them are not physically equip to fight. So they are the majority that are force to engage in sexual acts.
V.H., Arkansas, 11/17/96

From my point of view, rape takes place every day. A prisoner that is engaging in sexual acts, not by force, is still a victim of rape because I know that deep inside this prisoner do not want to do the things that he is doing but he thinks that it is the only way that he can survive.
V.H., Arkansas, 11/17/96

Most guys run in a pack, and most of them run in a pack just to keep from getting fucked, especially young guys, gang affiliations plays a major role in everything in prison there are more people turn out be gang affiliations than any other, most time when a young boy is turned out by a gang, the sole purpose of that is first to fuck the boy especially young boys, once they finish with the boy they are sold to another prisoner for profit, it's big business selling boys in prisons and gang members control this business.
C.D., Indiana, 11/20/96

[S]ay for instant you come into prison, you don't have anything, and they put you next door to me, here I am sitting here in this cell, I am watching T.V. color at that, listen to music, eating popcorn or whatever, drinkinUnit. About two or three Mexicans pushed me in to a cell and started slapping me and threatend to brutally beat me up if I didnt do what they said or if I snictched. They keep moving me to diffent pods. But as they call it here in prision these prisioners seem to have put a jacket on me that seems to follow me from prision to prision. And so what happend to me they first time has seemed to follow me from pod to pod or prision to prision . . . . So I got send to Darrington so some of they Guy's that had been at McNoll were there. And soon it spead that dude is a turn-out . . . . So then I got shipped to Hughe's unit and at that unit there were some Guy's there from McNoll and they word got out that I was a Pushover. So mam the same thing happend there Guy's would come up to me and say your going to be with me so if anyone ask you who you with say your with me.
F.C., Texas, 1/6/97

Any [inmates] coerced into sex? In the interest of getting my own abuse to stop, and being extremely selfish, concerned with my own survival I can name three guys I personally coerced into sexual relations. Not with me, but with my own man to stop the abuse I was receiving from him. Selfish I know but my first concern is my own well-being. It's that kind of world in here.
E.S., Mississippi, 1/15/97

I was 32 1/2 years old when the rape took place. . . . I am thin in built. My race is Native American . . . I am not a gay person . . . . I am also a very quiet and shy person. I also don't like being around people that much.
The inmate who assaulted me . . . . is a weight lifter, big built and very strong. . . .
Sometimes I fell that it was my fault and it drives me crazy to think about it . . . . I am mostly scared of what I might do when I get out of here. Very Suicidal - I just mean that I wish that I was dead at times and most of the times.
C.B., Washington, 1/19/97

I do believe that there is a lot of coercion that is forced on inmates and these incidents are not turned in by the inmates who are raped or assaulted. They are afraid of retaliation from both the inmates, and the prison system.
C.B., Washington, 2/11/97

The word "punk" has several meanings, it could mean a coward or a homosexual; "Queen" is a homosexual that dresses in drag and often looks like a woman; "Turn out" is also a homo that was turned into a homo, by being coerced; the word "Boy" is another way of saying my partner friend, etc. As far as crimes that don't fit it, usually are rapist, molesters, there looked upon with disdain and often find it rather hard to survive, once it's clearly established that they wasn't falsely accused, this has been a big problem. The relationship between a so-called Queen, and Man, are basically the same relationship between a male and a female, relations on the street. The Queens are majority practicing homos, so just picture normal male-female relations on the street, remember the whole objective is to make it as realistic as possible, that why homos try and look like women.
R.B., California 2/14/97

The word "punk" in this facility is used loosely, and is a term used to down-size someone, as well as to identify an actual "punk" meaning a kid or guy who is used and exploited sexually because he is too timid or weak to make a stand . . . . A queen is an inmate acts like a woman. She wears make-up smuggled into the facility, or made by crushing up colored pencils etc. . . . To "turn-out" someone is to either get them to consent to sex, or to rape them. The result of "turning out" a kid is that the kid usually finds a "dad"an older strong inmate to take care of him and to protect him from any future attacks. He is called a "boy." A boy is a nicer term for punk, so those terms overlap.
J.O., Utah, 2/18/97

It is different here in maximum security as opposed to population in medium or minimum. The power structure here is based on strength, reputation, and sheer extreme violence. If your a tough convict and will poke an eye out or stab someone on the drop of a hat then you won't be bothered unless you owe drug money or something. Then the gangs will step in and its difficult to battle 10 guys at a time. The gang situation is ugly and out of hand. Mainly its the nazis and the black disciples. If you have drugs and connections meaning "back-up," then your pretty powerful. And the ones who sell the dope usually run with the gangs. But here in maximum, as I stated above, it comes down to raw brutality.
J.O., Utah, 2/18/97

It is my observation that the most likely to be raped is the young kid new to prison who is not hip to the components of this ugly machine. The kid who just comes to prison, who is not willing to fight back is the unfortunate victim of rape . . . . A lot of times when a kid is raped he is told not to "snitch" or "else." The young rape victim is brainwashed to believe that by telling he is breaking the "code of the convict", and by doing so is doing something bad. Then he is brainwashed-exploited-turned out. He becomes a punk, a boy, someones property, and becomes just another silent victim. This cycle must be broken. Rather the kid tells, or arms himself with 10 inches of steel and thrusts it into the eye of his attackersomething must be done because I don't see it changing or getting any better.
J.O., Utah, 2/18/97

To answer your questions, "lifers" are the most powerful within the prisoner hierarchy. This includes those prisoners who are serving life sentences and life without possibility of parole, as well as the older prisoners who have spent a majority of life in prison. Their power comes from respect; they are the most respected, thus are the most influencial. They have the most experience in prison life and usually don't have too much to lose as a consequence for their actions. So they are also the most feared because they are more likely to carry out certain acts.
At the bottom of the hierarchy are sex offenders. They are the least respected and the most preyed upon. It does not matter the age of their victims . . . . These people usually become victims of sexual abuses by other prisoners to experience what they put their victims through. Usually when this is done a background check is conducted to gather as many facts as possible about the crime and efforts are made to re-enact the scene as similar as possible.
Also at the bottom of the hierarchy are the "snitches" or "rats." These people become victims of [assault] because of their acts in telling on other people. . . .
A "punk" is someone who is considered weak . . . . A boy is someone who really has no place and is just used for whatever he has to offer. They are also commonly referred to as "fuck-boys," since it's usually their sex that they are used for. A "turn-out" is someone who may or may not actually be gay, but they never had a homosexual experience outside of prison. However, when they come to prison they engage in sexual activities, though usually under heavy persuasion in the beginning . . . .
In essence, "respect" is the ultimate key to survival in prison life.
S.K., Washington, 2/18/97

I got a cellie . . . . and he said that he would protect me from [inmates who had threatened me] but I had to pay, if I didnt he would let them get me plus he would. He told his homeboy about what was going on and he's homeboy said he was going to protect me also but I had to pay . . . . August 1, when the officer [C] open the door I walked out and told him I need to speak with rank that it was very important . . . . I told him what my cellie wanted me to do. So he left me there and got rank . . . . Sgt. [P] ask me what was going on, I told him and told him that my life was in danger. He said for me to return to my cell and stand up and fight, because this was prison; if I didnt he would get a team and drag my ass back to my house. When I refused, he told [C] to put me in the holding cage. I walked to the cage on my own and went in. Sgt. [P] came back and told me to put the handcuffs on. When I told him I couldnt, he opened the cage door and told me to put the cuffs on. There with him was [C], [B], and [V]. I told him if he was gonna force me that they needed to get the camera first. [P] put the handcuffs in my face and said that he was gonna get the camera after he fucked me up. He kept telling me to put the cuffs on, but I refused, because of the risk. So [P] told the officers to grab me. They grabbed me. Stunned me to the floor and began punching me in my head and kicking me in my ribs. They put the handcuffs on and by that time I looked up and a officer had a camera. Sgt. Purris ask me if I would get up on my own. I did. They took me to medical and brought me back to my cell. When they put me back in my cell, I was crying for what they done. My cellie's homeboy that said he would protect me he came over to my cell when they ran rec. My cellie was gone. He ask me what happen and what was I crying for. He ask me how I was going to pay him. I told him when I went to the store I would pay him. But he said I want to fuck. I told him that I didnt do that. He said you remember what the deal we made. So I said but I dont do that kind of stuff. So he kept saying he aint gonna take long. So he had me have anal sex with him. After that, my cellie came back from rec, he found out what his homeboy did and told me he wanted to do the same. He also made me have anal sex. The next day the same officers were working and I was scared to tell them because of what they did before . . . . My cellie told me that at last chow his homeboy wanted me to come over and stay all night in his cell. So I waited until last chow. I went an ate, when I came back there was a officer walking with all the inmates. So I let all the inmates go in and stop the officer and told him the problem . . . . He took me to see Lt [T]. I told her what was going on, and needed to be locked up. She told me the only way that I could get locked up was if I refused housing and I would receive a case. I said I didnt care, I just needed her help. She sent me to lock up (pre-hearing detention). There I was given 15 days solitary . . . . I was pulled out and seen by Mrs. [P], Capt. [C], and Major [H]. I told my complaint and Mrs. [P] said that I was never raped that I just gave it up. Capt. [R] said that close custody was no risk, that I was well protected. I asked him how so, when I was raped plus inmates get stabbed each day. I wasnt answered. They tried to make it look as if I was asking for a transfer and not protective custody. I was denied help and sent back to my cell. . . . I took 18 pills trying to overdose. I was sent to medical and put back in my cell. From then on I began geting cases everyday to stay in solitary. Finally they got tired of me geting cases and refusing housing and placed me in segregation.
L.T., Texas, 2/19/97

Turn-out . . . is the term used to describe the process of getting a man who has never had male-male sex to have sex with another man. Almost always as a passive partner. The act of turning out usually implies that the man enjoys the sex now or will willingly continue to have sex with other men after the turn out. People are turned out through rape, threats, con-games, pressure, aquiring debts or romance. A man who has been "turned out" usually becomes a queen or fag and is always a catcher. There is literally thousands of mind games used to turn out, unsuspecting, naive young men.
E.S., Mississippi, 2/21/97

[Inmates low on the prison power structure include:] Any man who has, or is having sex with another man, by helping that other man obtain a climax through performing oral sex on him or letting the other man penetrate his rectum. Within this catagory is a structure. A. Queen because they are open about it and closest to being a woman. B. Fag, because they didn't become gay in prison. C. Boy. D. Punk because he does it out of fear, for protection or as a victim.
E.S., Mississippi, 2/21/97

[T]wo things are considered when making a target for rape: 1. Appearance and sex appeal. 2. Finance. A young good looking guy who's family sends him money is the choice target for rape. In most cases the rape is only to break his spirit and make him submissive and open for financial scams. Sex becomes the control agent. There are other rapes occurring . . . . Targets are feminine guys, for sexual pleasure: proud guys . . . usually for a show of power or ego (confirming of manhood) by degrading another.
E.S., Mississippi, 2/21/97

The Mexicansindeed all latinos, nobody outside their race can "check" one without permission from the town that, that person is from. If a black dude were to check a mexican w/out such permission & the mexican stays down & fights back, a riot will take place.
T.D., Texas, 3/14/97

While being checked isn't deemed a sexual attack, if one doesn't show heart & breaks weak he will become anothers property. It would amaze you (as it did me) to see human beings bought & sold like shoes. Don't get me wrong, mexicans are turned out by mexicans & blacks by blacks & then sold to other races. A person who may be only paying protection to one group could be sold to another & be turned out. All races are guilty the white race is only more victimized because there are less whites in prison.
T.D., Texas, 3/14/97

[B]ased on my experience the most common kind of rape in prisons today is the confidence rape which involves the rapist getting the confidence of the victim and then at some point turning on him and raping him. In my opinion the next in frequency would be the date rape where one inmate convinces another to double cell with him and then at some point rapes him. The next would be extortion rape followed by drugging rape and finally strong arm rape. The reason strong arm rape is the least frequent is because it is so much easier to rape an inmate using the other techniques. None of the types of prison rape described are rare. If anything they are rarely reported. Rape really is a big problem in prisons today. To give you an idea of how frequent rape is in prison, if victims would report every time they were raped in prison I would say that in the prison that I am in (which is a medium minimum security prison) there would be a reported incident every day.
V.H., Pennsylvania, 3/15/97

In my thinking much of the consensual homosexual activity in prisons today are engaged in out of one parties' fear of prison if not of his lover. Thus most prison sexual relations are unequal.
V.H., Pennsylvania, 3/15/97

There is no procedures for reporting sex abuse in here, it either happen or it dont, and "NO" I don't know of anyone who is being prosecuted for raping a guy. The only thing these guys can do is learn to fight better than the next guy. . . . [H]ere an inmate is turned out, and made to like it.
C.D., Indiana, 5/27/97

[O]ne day I was moved into a cell with this big guy that got into a lot of trouble and got into fights a lot. Well, I don't really know how to say it but I was affraid of him and when he told me he wanted sex one night I did it with him. I basically became his sex toy after that. Every night we had sex, and whatever he wanted. Oral, anal, and some disgusting stuff. This went on for a long time until I was able to get moved out of that cell.
G.M., Ohio, 5/28/97

If I had a young good looking male friend, who had money and was not a fighter, coming to prison and I had to give him a formula for survival this is what I would say to him . . . . First, and foremost do not become familiar or personal with anyone. Trust no one, guards or inmates. Keep your case, personal views and opinions, family life, history and dreams to yourself. Do not share them . . . . Secondly, do not appear feminine in appearance, speech or actions. Maintain some facial hair, short nails, short hair, etc. to keep from being even accidently mistaken as a possible victim. Third, stick to your own race group as associates, but do not be racist.
E.S., Mississippi, 6/1/97

When I was beaten and raped it was in the shower that was at the old Mansfield prison in Mansfield Ohio. . . . I have been to 4 Ohio prisons and at no time was I ever warned about the danger of sexual assault. No one ever told me of ways to protect myself. And to this day I've never heard of a procedure for reporting rape. This is never talked about . . . . I've basically found that guards and staff of the prisons don't care about your safety . . . . At the old Mansfield prison where my assault took place this type of stuff took place daily.
So no I didn't tell anyone about it. To be honest, you are the first person I've told in all these years and that is because you are not part of the prison. I was put on Protective Custody/Suicide Watch because I tried to kill myself several times and because they heard guys threaten to rape me, beat me up
G.M., Ohio, 6/27/97

I believe the reason prison rape occurs is because the administration does not care, if you rape another inmate you do a few days in the hole and the victum goes to P.C. protective custody "hole" but if he fights and hurts his attacker as I did he is prosecuted and receives more time. As of this time I have almost 14 years in prison and have never heard of a prison rape case being prosecuted in court . . . . I'm quite sure if a man committed a rape in prison and got 5 or 10 years time, prison rape would decline.
L.L., Ohio, 8/10/97

it is a lot of mental slavery involde and most of the sexual abuse and rapes never get reported because the victim is scare so the rest of their time in prison they become someone wife as they call it here. a lot of times when it is reported to Guards will over look it because they thing the inmate is just have a little problem with the one they are tied or married with. when a Report is done they lock up the inmate who did what ever he did for about 30 at the most and let him back out of the hold. they may send him to another camp. but the victim goes through a lot of pressure because of what happen and it will happen more and they get beat up or threaten with knifes so they end up submitting to them so they will not get hurt or killed.
K.R., Missouri, 9/8/97

what happen to me was because I am a Homosexual I have a Husband in the free world on the other side of the Prison fence I did not want to do anything while I am in prison. Well there was 4 black inmate and 2 white inmates that raped me the Guards did nothing because I am a Homosexual.
K.R., Missouri, 9/9/97

On March 13, 1994 I was sexually assaulted by E.W. . . . I was 21 yrs. old at the time and a non-violent inmate . . . . The way the crime took place is that I was in the bed asleep when the floor officer left his post. When Officer White left his block E.W. had my door opened by the officer in the booth. He came into my room and put a knife (homemade) to my throat and told me if I moved he would kill me. He then pulled the blanket off of me and told me to fall over onto my stomach. He then pulled my undershorts down and squirted somekind of petroleum greese into my rectom. He then penetrated me and when he finished he told me if I said anything he would kill me. He then left my room and his partner R.S. came in and found me crying. He told me to shut up before he hit me and gave me something to cry about. At this time R.S. told me he come into my room to do the same thing but changed his mind. He told me I could either let him gun me down (look at my rear end necked while he masturbated) or it would be worse then the first time. He then told me to follow him to his room. I followed him to his room and tried to talk him out of doing this to me. At this time Sgt. D and c/o White came into the block and saw me in R.S.'s room. They took me to the Sgt.'s office to find out what was going on. I told them what had happened and they arranged for me to be taken to the hospital. At the hospital they done a rape kit and charges were filed against E.W. for (crimes against nature and 2nd degree sexual assault). On March 27, 1996, Mr. D.B., the D.A for [this] county arranged for a telephone call for me to call his office. At this time Mr. B. told me he had to dismiss charges against Mr. W. because he messed up on his paper work. He said that with all the evidence from the rape kit another inmate's testimony and E.W.'s prior record (in prison for 2 counts of rape plus 2 or 3 charges of rape in prison) we would have won with no problem.
J.E., North Carolina, 9/15/97

Most prisoners that have been raped are then forced by the rest of the prison population to continue to play the female role whether they prefer homosexuality or not.
J.E., North Carolina, 9/15/97

Most prisoners are in general a con artist, and prison rape can occur as part of a con game. There is a never ending stream of new people being placed in prison. In this hostile and violent enviornment one can easily see why one might look for a friend, that is a persons first mistake. Prison rapist will use this search for friendship to get to familiarize themself with a person, and then use the first chance they get to rape the person. Some will phsically force the inmate into a sex act, and some will mentally break an individual down by bombarding him with a strong prison mentality about it being okay. Some try to get an inmate in debt to where they can't pay and then make them feel they are obligated to perform the sex act as payment. There are numerous ways inmates use to so called "break a person down", and in my over 7 years in prisons I've seen some shocking incidents.
J.E., North Carolina, 9/15/97

I was forced into masturbating him to his ejacolation . . . . He told me if I were to tell he would kill me . . . . [T]he emotional termoil I struggle with since that night is so sickening, hard to feel good about self. To make things worse is that the reporting officers let this sick inmate get away with what he did and made me do.
K.G., Utah, 9/17/97

As far as I know NOTHING happened to [the inmate who raped me.] I don't even believe he faced disciplinary action . . . . No, I didn't get a letter from [the district attorney] on why charged [against the rapist] were dismissed. He talked to me on the telephone. He couldn't even meet me face to face to tell me. All I recall him saying is that [the rapist's] lawyer filed a motion for a fast and speedy trial and he didn't pay attention to the dates on his paper work.
J.E., North Carolina, 9/30/97

A big male may approach this young scared kid with: "You fuck me, or you fuck that whole gang." . . . The young manor kid hasn't a prayer. If he fights back, and stabbs someone in his self protection, the Administration makes a freeworld case over it, and it's all to common that a kid can come down with a 5 yr sentense, and within a year or two, wind-up with life without parole. If a kid is raped, and reports it to the Administration, they severely punish the kid, and do absolutely nothing to the predators. I've seen this time after time. Usually here, a youth takes "a Man" and becomes his: "Fuck Boy." He submits at the pleasure of "His Man." The Man may prostitute him for money, drugs or what-ever. His Man forms a protection network, "Friends" to protect his territory.
P.S., Alabama, 10/6/97

I came to prison in April, 1991. I'd never been to prison before. I basically feared for my life . . . . Eventually, I ended up with a roommate who took advantage of my situation. He made me feel "protected" somewhat. But, at the same time, he let me know he could quite capably beat me up, if he wanted. One night, after we were all locked down for the night, he told me he could help me overcome my sexual inhibitions, if I would let him. He told me he was bisexual. I knew he was quite sexually active, so to speak, as he had female pornography in the room as well as masturbating frequently to it. But, I was surprised he would come on to me. However, I felt very much in danger if I did not give in to him. I was very scared. I ended up letting him penetrate me anally. After this, I would feign sleep at night when he'd come in. But, there were several more times he forced me to perform sexually . . . . Luckily, we were separated when he asked to move in with a friend. Therefore, I had to endure no more abuse. I never went to the authorities, as I was too fearful of the consequences from any other inmate. I already had enough problems, so didn't want to add to them by taking on the prison identity as a "rat" or "snitch." I already feared for my life. I didn't want to make it worse . . . . If the truth be known, it shames me to even talk of this. I fear it places a stigma on me of being homosexual or being an "easy target" for others.
J.D., Colorado, 10/12/97

one night 4 weeks into my prison stay i was tested by a very big north amerikkkan prisoner. He attempted to lay a bully game down on me by taking my seat in the lounge room. which led to me resorting back to my street warfare attack which was my only choice to set a solid example that i am not to be played with. The end result was he being put in the hospital broke jaw/nose an me having a broke wrist an a battery case.
L.Q., Indiana, 12/3/97

Keep in mind that tough and hard in the upper and middle classes is far different than that of the lower classes. For where being nice and sociable may be accepted in the upper and middle classes, it is a tabu in the lower, and especially when confined. . . . [A prisoner's problems] will be reciprocal to his youth, race, and size. . . . [When first assigned to a cell, he] will be under microscopic inspection for any weakness. Because if he smokes, the acceptance of a cigarette may have a hidden price attached.
W.M., Texas, 12/26/97

More often than not, Human Error in Classification and assignment of prisoners adds to the prison and jail sexual assaults and rapes. Not to mention the arbitrary imposition of punishment by intentional misclassification or mis-assignment [because of] spite or dislike for a prisoner.
W.M., Texas, 12/26/97

[L]atent homosexual tendencies may be seen in a timid or passive person who has been misclassified.
W.M., Texas, 12/26/97

[My cellmate] was younger, stronger than I and larger. He introduced himself as a bi-sexual. And was for two weeks "touchie-feelie." I had to screem/yell at him to stop. The officers here 1. Ignored my complaints. 2. Asked me if I was his lover. 3. Did nothing. He became more difficult to deal with and started to threaten me. Finally one day he attacked me.
D.G., Texas, 1/15/98

[Here is a typical scenario you may face as a prisoner:] you are fairly young, good-looking and not emotionally hardened. You are fearful and lonely and respond to a smiling seemingly kindly face. This person knows all the blind spots and the guards' timing, even who'll look away. Suddenly you find yourself alone with a very different person and in a few minutes are utterly over-powered physically or with a blade holding you still, while you swallow his organ or are split open in your bowels. Then he goes and tells his friends and very soon you are a "candy store" for them. If you tell, a hit is put on you and sooner or later someone will collect, often someone you don't even know.
D.W., Kansas, 2/23/98

Most cons are emotionally alienated from themselves. The peer pressure not to be seen as "weak" pertaining to any gentler emotion, is astronomically intense. Such a display sets one up to be the victimized very quickly. Also, the societal culture mind-set that men don't have finer emotions, has conditioned men not to display physical emotional bonding except with someone who is physically "inferior," ie., women, children, etc. In prison, to gain a simple hug which is emotionally soothing without being threatening, the dominator can only accept from the dominated. [Also] a prisoner experiences profound powerlessness of self over one's life and future. One of the most basic ways to resume an illusion of empowerment of self is to establish power over another at ground zero: life and sexual gratification.
D.W., Kansas, 2/23/98

I have been getting sexually assaulted at the Unit Mark W. Stiles in Beaumont by two inmates. I tried to commit suicide in hopes of releaving the misery of it. . . . I was made to perform oral sex on the two inmates for exchange of protection from other inmates. . . . I reported the action of the inmates to the Unit authority but did not get any help so that is when I slashed both my wrists in hope of dying.
D.E., Texas 5/14/98

I have aquired me a Husband to make my time easy he is a very big guy about 295 lbs and 6'3 or 4" cocoa brown he is a black man very big black man. However he's been real good to me.
P.N., Texas, 5/14/98

This letter is not the easiest letter to write, in fact, it's very hard. You see, I am such a prisoner. I was raped on the Beto one unit of Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice, (TDCJ), in 1991, by 3 black inmates. I was snatched into a cell and raped by two, while the 3rd kept watch for the gaurd and held a homemade knife to my throat. They alternated for an hour . . . . No body seems to care. It is very depressing. I dont know where else to turn to. I've completely exhausted my grievance procedures. My grievance came back to me stating that my denial of protective custody was not a grievable claim. Ironic. I had just gotten almost killed yet I dont have a claim to protective custody. Ive been forced to give up my money, my self esteem, I've been raped, I've been beat up numerous times, had my ribs broken, yet I still don't have a claim to protective custody! Maybe when I am dead they will say I should have been placed into protective custody.
J.W., Texas, 5/31/98

In my experience having a "boy" (meaning white man) to a negro in prison is sort of a "trophy" to his fellow black inmates. And I think the roots of the problem goes back a long time ago to when the African Americans where in the bonds of slavery. They have a favorite remark: "It ain't no fun when the rabbit's got the gun, is it?"
J.W., Texas, 5/31/98

I think [rape] also occurs because a lot of the inmates of all races are financially poor. They have no family in the free world to send them money. Even here money is a very important issue. A lot of white inmates pay money to one gang to protect them from another. It's called catching "a ride." It's also not uncommon for an inmate to be sold to another gang to avoid a gang war.
J.W., Texas, 5/31/98

I only can tell you that the inmates act aggresively to inmates who look like they are scared.
D.E., Texas, 6/2/98

On the Conally Unit I was forced to pay protection fees and I was beaten on a regular basis but was often denied medical treatment because the officers felt the smaller weaker inmates should just die or suffer because we are unable to defend ourselves. On several occasions I was masturbated on while I tried to shower and once I was beaten because I would not perform sexual favors for two black inmates . . . . [At Telford Unit] I was constantly pressured to perform sexual favors and once I was held at knife-point and was raped by an inmate named Cruz. I was ashamed and very confused. I went to the units officials for help and was treated very harshly. I was affraid to tell them I had been raped.
L.B., Texas, 6/20/98

I've seen one guy raped but the prison authorities not prosecute the rapist because they said the guy was a homosexual who was raped and because it happened in the rapist's cell. The guy raped was "out-of-place" there . . . . I think many case of sexual assault go unreported because of what we see take place of past reports. For example with the guy above, they said things like "the guy was gay, he asked for it." Bullshit. I knew the guy. Besides, noone bleeds like that who isnt forced.
J.W., Texas, 7/5/98

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