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Man’s AIDS-Related Death After Prison Rape Highlights a National Crisis

Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, Bryson Martel Spruce, Prison Rape

Rapes and Sexual Assaults of U.S. Inmates Have Reached Epidemic Proportions

Last month the Bureau of Justice Statistics confirmed that rapes and sexual assault of U.S. prison inmates have reached epidemic proportions. The data states that nearly one in 10 prisoners report having been raped or sexually assaulted by other inmates, staff, or both.

In 2003, Congress created a separate report by the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, which challenges to take the issue seriously, as it has ruined many lives. Take the gruesome story told by a former prison inmate named Bryson Martel Spruce, who contracted HIV as a result of the attacks.

Martel’s story provides a stomach-turning revelation of rape in prison. ”While I was in an Arkansas state prison, I was raped by at least 27 different inmates over a nine-month period,” he said. ”I don’t have to tell you that it was the worst nine months of my life.” Before he died in 2010, he insisted that the government does something to prevent the gruesome attacks on other prisoners. ”Standards are needed to protect people like me,” he said.

Air Force veteran, Tom Cahill spent one night in a San Antonio jail that ruined his life forever after being beaten and gang-raped by inmates. ”I’ve been hospitalized more times than I can count. For the past two decades, I’ve received a non-service connected security pension from the (Department of Veterans Affairs) at the cost of about $200,000 in connection with the only major trauma I’ve ever suffered, the rape,” he told the commission of the Justice Department.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, more than one-third of gay and bisexual male inmates said that they were victimized by another inmate. By comparison, only 3.5% of straight male inmates reported being sexually assaulted by other inmates. Bisexual female inmates also were targeted for sexual assaults more than their fellow inmates. Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a private, non-profit organization, attributes the vulnerability of prisoners to sexual assaults back to three pieces of legislation passed during the Clinton administration:

1. The Prison Litigation and Reform Act: Made it more difficult for prisoners to sue for abuse of power or dangerous treatment.

2. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act: Essentially guaranteed that inmates who have suffered wrongful convictions will have a tougher time challenging them.

3. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996: Better known as welfare reform, virtually ensured higher recividism rates.

All of that, I think, would have been shocking even to a Republican legislator in the 1960s or early 1970s,” Stevenson said. The commission’s new prison rape elimination standards, granted by the Justice Department, requires adequate prison staffing, sexual abuse prevention training for staff, creating more ways for inmates to report sexual abuse privately, no cross-gender searches of female inmates by male staff, publishing sexual abuse statistics annually and audits every three years. State prisons that don’t comply will lose federal funding.

The EJI filed a complaint against the Alabama Department of Corrections that is now under investigation by the Justice Department. EJI alleges that inmates of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., have suffered “widespread sexual abuse” by male guards, including acts of sexual violence that have culminated in pregnancies. ”When the government takes away someone’s freedom, it takes on the responsibility of keeping that person safe,” Stevenson said.


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21 Responses to Man’s AIDS-Related Death After Prison Rape Highlights a National Crisis

  1. angel Reply

    August 31, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I think that these prison guards have to much power they think they can do whatever they want with any concequences. They need to be punished jus like criminals on the street.Rapping inmates women or men is outrageous n injust they need to be in prison suffering the same punishment as the rest of them. They need to see what it’s like to be brutalized

    • Nakia H Reply

      November 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      I think that the gaurds and the Warren don’t care because they are in there for a criminal act of some kind. So why protect them. Its bad enough your in there and now fuck over the prisoners treat them worse God where is the justice hear. The gaurds and inmates doing what they want to.

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  4. Jahstone Reply

    September 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

    This is a fuckin ploy to destroy the credibility & trust of someone coming out of prison. Fucka yourblackbloggers.com! People Wake The Fuck Up!!!

    • Nedrea Reply

      September 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

      I for one wish you would use a credible means to make an intelligent statement. The only individual who needs to wake up is you, because I could not understand a thing you said for all of the foul language (Idle Words) you used. What is it that you are trying to say?? Say what you mean, and mean what you say. A man or woman curses because they lack the intelligence to speak. It is a sign if an ignorant mind trying to express itself. They are not attacking anyone’s credibility, they are attacking prison rapists, who violate the sanity of others. Prison rape needs to stop completely, and it needs to be handled harshly.

      • Ran Reply

        September 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

        Our difference of opinion regarding cursing aside, I’m with you. Anyone who can’t take the time to have compassion for ANYONE who has been raped has to be a corrupted soul. Prison rape is real. It may be overstated and at the same time under reported but it’s a fact of life. Prison is in some ways a representation of the rest of the world. If people rape outside of prison what happens when you put rapists in prison? Do the rapists rape each other? Or do they find someone they think they can overpower?

        • Michelle love Reply

          September 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

          i agree 100% with you Nedrea this chaos got to stop in prison in every where else the world is getting out of control and it’s bad. and you know some people just don’t care or believe in working together. we need to stop talking nonsense, and start helping and working together.

      • Frances Reply

        November 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

        Thank you Nedrea… I still actually have no idea what he was saying but it sounds like he is having a difficult time trying to relay a message that he feels quite passionate about… A guessture, if I may, of what he’s trying to say, once you get beyond the profanity, he thinks it’s a ploy to further inhibit ex-convicts from obtaining credibility after they get out of prison… I don’t think he realizes credibility, as well as respect has to be earned… Those people that committed crimes shouldn’t expect credibility to just fall into their laps once they’re outside until they re-establish it… And as far as their claim of prison rape, know that it is very real and dangerous… That is not a ploy… to inhibit or stop anything… I can’t see anyone just flatout lying about being raped… That is a serious matter and it takes a lot for a man to come forth with such a thing… They feel it’s embarrassing whereas I feel they NEED to let it be known… And by saying ‘wake up’, them coming forward IS a wake up call to let the real world know, it really does happen…

    • rhonda Reply

      September 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      This is what happens when we look away from mess, this is what happens when this same men screwing each other like dogs, black, white, and all other ethnic groups. They come back into society speading their dirt, I feel once they are exposed in prison in should be public record. Nobody wants a prison homo, then attempt to hide like they don’t get down with men. Put their behinds on blast if you can rape another man, you need to be exposed. You are the lowest of a dog.

  5. Bandit Reply

    September 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    so sad that these men are sexually violated…sexual assault against any human being regardless of race is not only sexual but an issue of power and degradation. these men are ashamed many times and come of out prison trying to resume the lives they had with women-spreading hiv and other sexually transmitted diseases. their victimization is affecting society as a whole. i believe that people who go to prison should pay for their crimes…i don’t even believe they should have some of the amenities that they have but i dont believe that they should be attacked and assaulted….human beings are losing their humanity…..

  6. Flower Ann Holness Reply

    September 1, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    This grieves me to the core of my being. The Words do declare that the time will come when it will be said, ‘blessed are the paps that never gave suck.’ This should give people a greater sense of purpose to not do anything that will get them behind bars.

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  8. Jg Reply

    September 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Another tactic to get rid of blacks… Its no secret we are the majority incarerated and black women are contracting aids faster than LIGHT IN ATL!..

  9. Alex Levy Reply

    September 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    For every new school built, there are 10 to 50 prisons being constructed. Wall Street investors have millions of dollars invested in the prison system. So what better way to load them up than with young black males. If you notice, the message in rap music is violent, misogenous and disrespectful. It is by design that the record labels sign artists that have negativity in the music which encourages our youth to be destructive. And with high unemployment and under funded public schools, you are almost guaranteed to fill the prisons. Destruction of the black household and our women is at an all time high. Mr. Obama, are you listening?

  10. Samdromeda Reply

    September 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The only solution is to shut down the prisons. Prisons are concentration camps. The ACLU should present a case before the World Court. This comes under the heading Crimes Against Humanity. Prisons are for Punishment and Rehabilitation. They are effectively being used for disenfranchisement. Prison records are preventing people from getting jobs. Paying your debt to society has been thrown out the window. Now it is a tool of oppression. This type of oppression is on the backs of all tax payers and anyone who considers themselves to be citizens of The United States. Oppression never goes unpunished. It is the mark of a society without mercy and therefore deserving of being shut down. There is no wisdom in this system and the administration thereof is only repression continually. Predators go where the prey is. Therefore sexual predators seek to become prison guards and if they start out innocent they are flipped by the predators. It is difficult to maintain honor in such an inherently predatory system. It is the shame of our nation and there are those who want to privatize the Prison Industrial Complex. Can they insure the production of law abiding citizens? Or will they keep them as slaves for profit. As a nation until we are willing and do right we will not be right.

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  12. Al Jonson Reply

    September 6, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Real live Preditors. Prayers to the victims of this abusive act. May the God of creation give you strength and endurance.

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  14. Karen Douglas Reply

    November 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    I have long believed that the revolving recidivism in prisons is by far the most contributing factor to the spread of aids amongst heterosexuals in the Black community. Not the down low men who have been around for centuries. Prisons do not educate, provide condoms, connect with in prison treatment or connect with inmates to community treatment facilities upon their release. Many are traumatized and embarrassed by what happened and do not share their experience. They continue to have sex keeping silent and spreading HIV.

  15. Olivia Simmons-Carter Reply

    November 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Yes, prison rape is very real and very frightening for those who has or is experiencing it. I was a Sgt. at the local jail and we received reports of inmates that were in our facility before being sent to prison, were being brutally raped. They had to be put in the infirmary until they healed, they should have just moved them because, as soon as they were put back into general population they were being raped, again. For those who think this is just something to bring the Black man down because he was imprisoned, that’s BS! When it comes to rape in prison, there is no color, only a very harsh reality that can not be reversed.

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