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Raped In Prison

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Raped In Prison

Author T.J. Parsell speaks out about his experience as a 17 year old in a Michigan prison. Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison.


 No Escape: Prison Rape (A Documentary)

This is a short documentary I came across while researching a school project. It was made in 2001 and it tells the story of 17 year old Rodney Hullin, who committed suicide in a Texas prison after being physically and sexually assaulted several times. I hope it opens the eyes of many to the problems of abuse and violence in america's prisons today.



Rape, especially gang rape, is almost exclusively a black on white occurrence. More than 90% of prison rapists are black and the instance of a white raping a black is the rarest of all. If this rankles your ideals about racial harmony and the essential equality of the races, etc. -- tough shit. Most rape victims are young and white... Blacks do sometimes rape other blacks, however; if you're black, you're not in the clear.

Many prisoners just kill themselves. Those who live and are released re-enter society every bit as f**ked up as you might expect.


The Times doesn't mention it, but the in-prison segregation needs to be preserved for yet another reason-to keep non-white inmates from raping whites, which they reportedly do routinely and with little concern for punishment or retaliation.

In a 2001 report published by the liberal Human Rights Watch, a researcher named Joanne Mariner disclosed facts the mainstream media have long ignored or denied: There are more men raped in the United States-about 90,000 every year-than women-a mere 40,000. Most of the male rapes take place in prison, and good many of them are interracial, with blacks and Hispanics searching out and raping white men. [No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons]

The stories the report recounts, described in a 2002 article in the newsletter American Renaissance, are graphic and repellent. "I had no choice but to submit to being Inmate B's prison wife," one white convict said. "In all reality, I was his slave.. I determined I'd be better off to willingly have sex with one person, than I would be to face violence and rape by multiple people. The most tragic part to this is that the person I chose to 'be with' has AIDS."

Another white prisoner in Michigan reported that the black inmate who "claimed me as his property" "publicly humiliated and degraded me, making sure all the inmates and guards knew that I was a queen and his property. Within a week he was pimping me out to other inmates at $3.00 a man. This state of existence continued for two months until he sold me for $25.00 to another black male who purchased me to be his wife." Those are only a couple of the less lurid stories from the Human Rights Watch report.

And why does this sort of thing happen? It happens not only because prison authorities don't stop it but because white prisoners themselves won't either. The report recounts that though neither black nor Hispanic convicts will tolerate a white man raping one of their own races, whites do virtually nothing to protect each other against black and Hispanic rapists.

As the report puts it, "African Americans typically face sexual abuse at the hands of other African Americans, and Hispanics at the hands of other Hispanics. Some inmates told Human Rights Watch that this pattern reflected an inmate rule, one that was strictly enforced: 'only a black can turn out [rape] a black, and only a chicano can turn out a chicano.' Breaking this rule by sexually abusing someone of another race or ethnicity, with the exception of a white inmate, could lead to racial or ethnic unrest, as other members of the victim's group would retaliate against the perpetrator's group."

The American Renaissance article put it a bit more bluntly: "The racial dynamic in prisons puts whites at a tremendous disadvantage. First, whites are often outnumbered by both blacks and Hispanics. But far more important, just as they show no racial solidarity in 'the free world,' whites in prison do not band together to protect each other from predators."

All of which helps explain why prison authorities want to keep the races segregated, at least until newcomers learn their way around. It may also explain why Garrison Johnson brought the lawsuit in the first place. But most of all, it helps explain what's wrong with white people-and not just those in prison.


No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons


I had no choice but to submit to being Inmate B's prison wife. Out of fear for my life, I submitted to sucking his dick, being f**ked in my ass, and performing other duties as a woman, such as making his bed. In all reality, I was his slave, as the Officials of the Arkansas Department of Corrections under the 'color of law' did absolutely nothing.
- M.P, Arkansas, pro se federal civil rights complaint filed 8/2/96

Most of the prisoners who rape are spending from 5 to life. And are part of a gang. They pick a loner smaller weaker individual. And make that person into a homosexual then sell him to other inmates or gangs. Anywhere from a pack of cigarettes to 2 cartons . . . . No one cares about you or anyone else. If they show kindness or are trying to be helpful, it is only because they want something. And if there offering you protection you can guarantee that there going to seek sexual favors. . . . When an inmate comes in for the first time and doesnt know anyone. The clicks and gangs. Watch him like Wolves readying there attacks. They see if he spends time alone, who he eats with. Its like the Wild Kingdom. Then they start playing with him, checking the new guy out. (They call him fresh meat.)
- J.G., Minnesota, 8/8/96

I've been sentenced for a D.U.I. offense. My 3rd one. When I first came to prison, I had no idea what to expect. Certainly none of this. I'm a tall white male, who unfortunately has a small amount of feminine characteristics. And very shy. These characteristics have got me raped so many times I have no more feelings physically. I have been raped by up to 5 black men and two white men at a time. I've had knifes at my head and throat. I had fought and been beat so hard that I didn't ever think I'd see straight again. One time when I refused to enter a cell, I was brutally attacked by staff and taken to segragation though I had only wanted to prevent the same and worse by not locking up with my cell mate. There is no supervision after lockdown. I was given a conduct report. I explained to the hearing officer what the issue was. He told me that off the record, He suggests I find a man I would/could willingly have sex with to prevent these things from happening. I've requested protective custody only to be denied. It is not available here. He also said there was no where to run to, and it would be best for me to accept things . . . . I probably have AIDS now. I have great difficulty raising food to my mouth from shaking after nightmares or thinking to hard on all this. . . . I've laid down without physical fight to be sodomized. To prevent so much damage in struggles, ripping and tearing. Though in not fighting, it caused my heart and spirit to be raped as well. Something I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for.
- A.H., Indiana, 8/30/96

If a person is timid or shy or as prison inmates term him "Weak," either mentally or physically, he stands to be a victim of physical and/or sexual assault.
- R.B., Colorado, 9/1/96

I am giving you a breif description of the incient's i have suffered from while I've been in this institution. To begin with on Aug 1, 1996 Approx: 12:30 pm i was housed in E building i went to the officials on duty about a problem i was having with two (2) inmate's but it was disreguard. Than around and about Aug 16, 1996 i was sexual assaulted by the same two (2) inmate's. I was then taking to the medical department in cristeanna hospital for treatment. It's a big Rumor that one inmate has Aid's.
- T.A., Delaware, 9/2/96

Inmates confined for sexual offenses, especially those against juvenile victims, are at the bottom of the pecking order and consequentially most often victimized. Because of their crime, the general population justifies using their weakness by labling rape "just punishment" for their crime. Sexual offenders are the number one target group for prisoner rape. Inmates who come to prison at an early age are the second target group. Being younger, more physically attractive, and less likely to be infected with H.I.V., this group "needs to learn not to come back to prison a second time." Obviously this is a poor justification for rape, but in the prison social structure any excuse will do.
- L.V., Arkansas, 9/3/96

I hate to say this but if you weren't racist when you came to prison more than likely you will be when you leave. In Texas prisons race is the main issue and until people wake up and realize that nothing will change!
- T.B., Texas, 9/3/96

I was raped in prison from Feb 1991 through Nov 1991. From that it left me HIV positive.
- K.S., Arkansas, 9/4/96

I have been sexually assaulted twice since being incarcerated. Both times the staff refused to do anything except to lock me up and make accusations that I'm homosexual and that if I pursue legal action they'd ship me and both times they did.
- J.G., Florida, 9/4/96

What is more prevalent at TCIP (which, by the way, is a medium security, rural institution) is best called "coercion." I suppose you have an idea what these engagements entail. The victim is usually tricked into owing a favor. Here this is usually drugs, with the perpetrator seeming to be, to the victim, a really swell fellow and all. Soon, however, the victim is asked to repay all those joints or licks of dope-right away. Of course he has no drugs or money, and the only alternative is sexual favors. Once a prisoner is "turned-out," it's pretty much a done deal. I guess a good many victims just want to do their time and not risk any trouble, so they submit. . . . The coercion-type abuses continue because of their covert nature. From the way such attacks manifest, it can seem to others, administrators and prisoners, that the victims are just homosexual to begin with. Why else would they allow such a thing to happen, people might ask.
- J.S., Tennessee, 9/5/96

I was young and yes i was weak. My weight was only 120 lbs, the first few months i was raped and beat up many times, i would always Fight back, i wanted my attackers to know i was not a Willing Subject for their evilness. I went to the Guards for help and was told there was nothing that could be done, that i would have to stand up like a Man and Take Care of my own troubles.
- B.L, Florida, 9/5/96

Some prison rapists are so ignorant or delusional, they imagine the rape victim to be the homosexual-because he's doing the taking, not dishing it out (he's gay! he's performing a homosexual act!)
- J.J., California, 9/6/96

The rapes seem to be for two main reasons. 1. They hurt, someone must pay. 2. Being deprived of consensual sex, and self-centered, any hole will do. Power, control, revenge, seem to top the "reasons" for rape. The person assaulted is either seen as weaker, or gang banged if seen as stuck up kind of person. You know, refuses to swear, actually admits he is guilty, is seeking help etc. . . . I have yet to hear of an inmate being charged in court with sexual assault of an inmate. Have you? If just one was found guilty, got more time, things would change.
- D.A., Nebraska, 9/6/96

On January 27, 1993, I was forcefully raped! I was held down while at least 3 black inmates had anal intercourse using my rectum as their sexual pleasure release! From that day on, I was classified as a homosexual and was sold from one inmate to the next. I was sold for a $2.25 bag of coffee! . . . Blacks tend to rape the white inmates and force themselves on weaker inmates! I am one of the weaker inmates!
- J.D., Texas, 9/6/96

Most guys raped are guys for there first time locked up, between the ages 18-30 that looks young, not strong, looks lonely, scared. Guys watch these things.
- M.F., Ohio, 9/6/96

A lot of guys don't say enything about what happens to them, because they got to live there. What if they told, what could happen to them . . . I know you think they should tell what happens to them. But until you put yourself in there shoes you don't know what you do. Some prisons are hard. Fights, killings, ect. everyday. One thing guys don't like is guys who tell on others. What are your chances if you told on someone?
- M.F., Ohio, 9/6/96

I'm in protective custody have been since Feb of 95. My rape is known thru out the system as everyone know the person who did it likes to brag so its unsafe for me to be in population as now I'm a snitch, homo and my safety would be in jeopardy.
- R.G., Delaware, 9/6/96

When a man gets raped nobody gives a damn. Even the officers laugh about it. I bet he's going to be walking with a limp ha ha ha. I've heard them.
- J.G., Minnesota, 9/7/96

Most often the victom who reports a rape is again victomized by officials who write this inmate victom a disciplinary report of propaganda; officials do this in order to avoid law suits resulting from the rapes.
- E.R., Iowa, 9/9/96

When a man finally gets his victim, he protects him from everyone else, buys him anything, the victim washes his clothes, his cell, etc. In return, the entire prison knows that this guy has a "BITCH" or "girl." This gives power to the aggressors ego. In here, the egos multiply a lot more than in society.
Now I've seen this happen many many times. The response from the guards is "the strong survive," "who cares," or they join in on the teasing, tourmenting, etc.
- R.L., New York, 9/9/96

I've seen inmates attacked by two or three men at a time and forced to the floor, while two or three hold him down, the fourth man slaps vaseline on his rectum and rapes him. I knew two men who hung themselves after this.
- R.L., New York, 9/9/96

The more time a man has, the more respect he gets, the more he is feared, the more the guards ignore his misbehavior and let him do what he wants, including rape! The mentality of a lot of guards is that it's only a convicted felon screwing another, so who cares?
- R.L., New York, 9/9/96

The DOC covers their actions under the guise of security and the state court wears blinders.
- J.G., Florida, 9/9/96

I didn't want to tell on the inmates who raped me because I didn't want to be killed. If I had told on the inmates, They would have gotten me in another part of the Prison. Even Protective Custody Facility.
- R.H., Utah, 9/10/96




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THIS f**kED-UP LOOKING JAMAICAN GUY WITH DREADLOCKS is hanging with his crew, and he goes to this white kid and says, "Yo, you want some of my cigarette?" And this white boy goes ahead and takes two pulls on the cigarette. This is in Queens Central Booking."

Taking those pulls on the Jamaican's smoke was the worst mistake in that white boy's life. It was the worst mistake Jose "King Boost" Morales had ever seen anybody make in all his years of hard time.

"The white boy gives the Jamaican back his cigarette," King Boost continues, "and the Jamaican guy takes a razor out of his mouth and shows it to him. He says to the white boy, "Now I want those pulls back."

"That white boy starts cryin," interrupts Boost's main partner, Chris.

"Yeah," continues Boost, " The Jamaican guy gets his boys to gather around them, so nobody can see, right? Then he tells them to kick a beat, to cover the noise so the guards won't hear. 'Cause there was guards right outside the tank, and if they would have heard anythign they would have been right in there. Now the Jamaican guys sits down on the bench and he takes out his dick. He says, "gimme those pulls."

"I seen that white boy," says Chris.

"He was cryin', 'cause he knew there wasn't nothing he could do. That white boy put his head down and sucked the Jamaican guy's dick then and there."

IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, EVERY PLACE in New York has gotten safer - but one. In the big house, it's always Jinx Time. To provide up-to-the-minute intelligence on the hazards of the Underground, Jinx magazine interviewed three highly qualified sources on the current situation inside the penal system. What we learned from Chris, Bays, and Boost, three Puerto Ricans from East New York, amounts to a guidebook through the worst hazards of the slam. Between them, Boost and his two friends have served time in Rehab, Juvenile, Municipal, State and Federal detention.

"I'll let you know," says Chris, "since Giuliani took office, they got everybody locked up. Everybody who ran it on the streets is in jail now, kid."

"I'd say eighty percent of the niggers in lockdown is hardcore criminals, repeat criminals," agrees Boost, who has high standards. The situation in other cities is comparable. You're not going to be camping with the Boy Scouts, young sportsman. Be on point.

Welcome to the other side
A night on the town in Central Booking.

YOU'VE BEEN ARRESTED AND BOOKED. YOU'VE EXPERIENCED the warm intimacy of a body cavity search. Whether the charge is plotting the violent overthrow of the government or driving under the influence, you're now headed for the same 12' X 20' cage. Take a deep breath. You'll be sealed inside with as many as 25 fellow guests.

"I had two of my boys with me the first time I got busted," says Boost. "So I wasn't really that worried." Chances are, you'll have better reason to fear than he had. Boost isn't a big man, but his experiences on the streets of New York have made him hard - and known.

If you're alone on your first pinch, scan the cell for familiar faces. Anyone you recognize from the outside, even if you've never said two words to him, is a potential ally. The idea is to make an acquaintance you can stick by. Of course, an acquaintance is not a friend.

"Don't try to make a friend," says Bays. "The problem with these niggers today is they too f**king smart. They play games with you."

Too much familiarity in conversation will be interpreted as weakness, an opening for psychological attack. This isn't group therapy, and you're not going to get anywhere by talking about your free floating anxiety. Be on alert if a prisoner starts trying to find out to much about you, asking you where you're from, how much money you have, whom you know. This man is trying to size you up and determine how to exploit you. There is a defense against this gambit, however.

"Flip it," says Bays. "Turn the shit around on him. Try to ask him the same questions he asking you."

Boost nods, "Don't let him get personal.

In the cage you'll see stockbrokers sleeping under benches. Men's characters will be tried over a few square feet of floor space. Do not be pushed around. You don't want to show weakness by sleeping next to the toilet, where you'll be repeatedly woken up, stepped on and splashed. Your time inside is a tightrope act, a walk along the line between dangerous extremes. It's suicide to show weakness, but no less so to make unnecessary trouble.

"I seen an old guy catch a crazy beatdown that first night," laughs Boost. "He deserved it. He was talking shit to two young black teenagers, and he punched them first."

That old man had to be carried out. He was having a seizure.

THE CORRECTIONS OFFICERS, CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU might suspect, are every bit as dangerous as the prisoners. Consider: they're the ones who have chosen to be here. Antagonize them or disrespect them under no circumstances.

"They'll hide your papers," says Bays. He means your docket papers, the papers that say you exist. "That's the worst feeling in the world - you see guys come in and in three days they get called out before you, and you like, oh shit, when am I getting out of here? 'Cause the guards put your papers back at the bottom of the pile."

"I seen 'em destroy niggers' papers," nods Chris.

The C.O.'s have less subtle methods of punishment at their disposal as well.

"They got a thing on they belts, and if you pull that thing out it's like an alarm, and in two seconds you'll have like eight big motherf**kers putting their sticks on you." Boost says, "I saw one guy who was in a fight, and they came in to break it up. He grabbed one of their clubs," he winces. "I heard that stick, I felt that stick hit his head."

If for any reason the guards should enter the cell while you're in there, turn away. Play the wall or hit the floor; there's going to be indiscriminate violence.

When they do call you out, you'll be glad they did. "I ain't gonna lie to you," says Chris. "When you get out after those three days, it feels good. You glad you went through it and made it."

The good feeling will wear off in a hurry if they sentence you and toss you back in.

Doing a bid
"this is the place where 99 men week while one man laughs." - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.

THE SINGLE MOST PREVALENT FACT OF PRISON LIFE IS THAT there are powerful gangs. On Rikers Island you'll live among the Bloods, the Neta, and the Latin Kings.

The Bloods are new on the scene, and their tactics have garnished them some unwanted press. Ironically, the very brutality of the Bloods has rendered them harmless. Their mayhem against the Latin Kings, the general prison population and even the guards has forced the warden into a radical policy: locking them in their cells 24 hours a day.

"The bloods don't walk on Rikers Island," says Boost.

If you want to roll with a gang, the Neta may be your best bet.

"They're positive," says Boost, "They're a Latin gang, but they'll take anybody: faggots, whites, blacksS"

Being in a gang will give you clout. Your homeboys will be the eyes in back of your head. There is, however, a heavy price.

"One thing about the Neta, they expect you to be brothers for life. If you see a guy from the Neta on the street who was down with you on the inside, you supposed to be down with him on the outside too." If being beholden to a syndicate of armed career criminals isn't your idea of a smart long term plan, don't join. This is a most solemn commitment, not to be entered into lightly.

The Latin Kings are the largest prison gang in New York, as it is in may other parts of the country. The Kings run Rikers Island, and on the streets they have political ambitions and their sights on legitimacy. They're not quite there just yet. You may well find yourself automatically ineligible for LK membership; it is a requirement to have been born on one of the so-called Five Continents: Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, or Nicaragua.

King Boost has a copy of his "Lessons of the Kings," their code of conduct, at his Brooklyn apartment. He's not at liberty to disclose those lessons at this time, and Jinx has chosen not to push the issue. One good Lesson of the Kings we came up with is, "Don't f**k with them."

Into the inferno
Overcoming the White Boy in you

WE ASKED KING BOOST, BAYS AND CHRIS WHAT THE white boy did wrong, and what he could have done differently, to avoid getting his mouth raped by the sword of evil. Sit up and pay attention, now, because you never know when the long arm of the law might tap you on the shoulder.

1. "He shouldn't have taken a hit on the cigarette." An obvious point? Maybe not. Our White Boy probably felt considerable pressure to accept out of politeness. In the mores of the slam, however, it's worse to owe somebody than to snub an offer.

2. He should have feared the shame more than the razor. It will require the hardest stoicism to accept a slashed face or a stabbed eye, but it's worse to submit. This is not a point of honor but of practical necessity. "It's worse to be a punk," says Boost. "'Cause then the whole jail will know they can use you." Anyone so branded is made a slave, sexual and otherwise, for the duration of his stay.

3. He should have fought back and raised his voice. "You don't want to call for help, 'cause that's just as bad as giving in," says Chris, "But you can make noise and fight, and the guards will hear." Making noise would have earned him a crown from the C.O.'s, but having fought back would have earned him some small measure of respect in the population.

THESE ARE THE UGLY CHOICES THAT MUST BE MADE IN THE cage. At times they won't seem like choices at all. Bear in mind at all times, though, that your actions here, as anywhere, will determine the way you're treated and perceived. Remember to make neither friends nor enemies. Neither antagonize nor scrape before any man. Remember that a stare is as good as a fight, but don't divert your gaze so quickly as to appear the coward. Reveal no more about yourself or your mission than is earnestly revealed to you. In short, the best thing you can do in the system is to act as a Friend of Jinx.

As for the worst thing you can do in the slam:

"Be fake," says King Boost. "That's the worst thing you can do. They'll figure you out."


No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons


Why prison sexual assault occurs: Part of it is revenge against what the non-white prisoners call, "The White Man," meaning authority and the justice system. A common comment is, "ya'll may run it out there, but this is our world!" More of it I think is the assaulters own insecurities and them trying to gain some respect in their peer group by showing that they "are a man." This subculture is concerned with appearances, and the more imposing an appearance, the more respect you command. Some of the guys I rode with didnt want any sex or $. They just wanted the status of having a "Kid." Naturally, I liked them best.
— S.H., Texas, 9/10/96

I was "rented out" for sexual favors, and a lot of the guys who rented me are not rapists, or assaulted as children, or any other stereotypical model. They just wanted some sexual satisfaction, even though they knew I was not deriving pleasure from it, and was there only because I was forced to. . . . I was with the Valluco (Valley) crowd, so I was only passed around to them for free. D. Town Hispanics had to pay. They were charged $3 for a blow-job, $5 for anal sex.
— S.H., Texas, 9/10/96

I had an officer tell me that "faggots like to suck dick, so why was I complaining." You and I realize that non-consensual sex is rape, regardless—a leap in thinking not possible for prison officials.
— S.H., Texas, 9/10/96

Defendant J.M, a security officer with the rank of sargeant, came to investigate the series of latest allegations. Defendant J.M. refused to interview the inmate witnesses and told plaintiff that he was lying about being sexually abused. After plaintiff vehemently protested that he was being truthful, defendant J.M. made comments that plaintiff "must be gay" for "letting them make you suck dick."
— S.H., Texas, 9/10/96 (legal papers)

[When I was sent to prison,] I was just barely 18 years of age, about 90 pounds. I did nine years from March 1983 to November 1991. In that 9 years I was raped several times. I never told on anyone for it, but did ask the officer for protective custody. But I was just sent to another part of the prison. Than raped again. Sent to another part of the prison. Etc. This went on for 9 years. I didn't want to tell on the inmates who raped me because I didn't want to be killed. . . . I came back to prison in 1993. In 1994 I was raped again. I attempted suicide. . . . The doctors here in the prison say "quote" major depression multiple neurotic symptoms, marked by excessive fear, unrelenting worry and debilitating anxiety. Antisocial suicidal ideation, self-degradation, paranoia and hopelessness are characteristic, "unquote."
— R.H., Utah, 9/10/96

[With coercive sex], one inmate will sidle up to another inmate and try to play on the inmate's emotions, as well as befriend him; this inmate usually being a "first-timer" who is quiet and reserved and without any established friends yet . . . . Eventually the weaker inmate is compelled to perform masturbation on the domineering inmate, or — at first — to pose nude before the domineering inmate while he masturbates. . . . Once the weaker inmate is hooked, the domineering inmate will share the details of his conquest with his buddies and then the weaker inmate finds himself dealing with more and more inmates vying for his services. By this time, the weaker inmate has had his self-esteem so lowered that he no longer cares and becomes a sexual substitute for whomever needs him.
— P.S., Texas, 9/10/96

I found out how people earn respect in here, you have to beat someone or shank them.
— J.G., Minnesota, 9/12/96

It's either rape or be raped and the racial tension doesn't help any.
— W.M., Texas, 9/13/96

Officers can't do anything unless an inmate say's something. If an inmate does, not only is that a sure sign of weakness, but a weak snitch to boot. Not worthy of living.
— W.M., Texas, 9/13/96

[You have to fight to be safe.] To give you an idea what I mean . . . I now have scar's where I've been gutted, under the right side of my chest below my heart, where my neck was cut open and under my left arm. That's not the many minor cuts and wound's can't include in this letter because of lack of times & space. People start to treat you right once you become deadly.
— W.M., Texas, 9/13/96

It's fixed where if you're raped, the only way you [can escape being a punk is if] you rape someone else. Yes I know that's fully screwed, but that's how your head is twisted. After it's over you may be disgusted with yourself, but you realize you're not powerless and that you can deliver as well as receive pain. Then it's up to you to decide whether you enjoy it or not. Most do, I don't. It's sick and depraved. It's also depressing when one of these boy's (another name for turn out), come up to you for protection because they know you won't hurt them as much because you've been through it & they don't have the nuts to break out themselves even when you tell them how.
— W.M., Texas, 9/13/96

My celly tried to rape me with a knife for a weapon, we fought and I got the knife and stabbed him to fight him off, I was charged with attempted murder and felonious assault and taken to trial, found guilty and received 12 to 15 years. The system feels that justice was done.
— L.L., Ohio, 9/14/96

What is needed in prison is one man cells, one man showers and for the officials to prosecute attackers instead of just locking them up in the hole.
— L.L., Ohio, 9/14/96

While serving my sentence at a former institution, I was severely beaten and gang raped, both orally and anally, by six black inmates . . . . It started by inmate [A] coming by my cell and waking me up at approximately 4:00 a.m. He said he wanted to come in and watch television with me. I said, "No, I'm trying to sleep." He said he's going to the booth and get my door open. I saw him go to the booth and told the booth officer to open my cell door . . . My cell door was not authorized to be opened.

By this time, I had turned on my overhead light and heard inmate [A] say to [the officer], "Open #222, so I can get his laundry." I didn't think nothing of it because we've had no prior problems before. I did think it was odd though. So he came in and sat on my bed . . . . About 5 to 10 minutes after that, inmate , [C], and [D] came into my cell. Then inmate [D] said, "We want some ass." I said, "I don't think so, I don't play that shit." When he said this, I said to myself, "Oh no! I'm in trouble!" I looked toward the door for an escape route finding it blocked, I went into myself to prepare for the worst.

Inmate [D] then said, "Either give it to Jesus or give it up." . . . .
It was at this time that the floor officer came by on the bottom tier (I was on the top tier), doing or supposedly doing, his rounds. He noticed the inmates in my cell and asked if everything was all right. Too terrified to answer, I just nodded. [The officer] never came to the top tier during his round. I was then directed back to my bed. Inmate then stood in front of me and pulled out his penis and forced it into my mouth. Inmate [C] then turn his turn. Pulling me to my feet, he then took my boxers off, bent me over and forced his penis inside. Inmate [D] laid on the bed, took my head and forced himself inside my mouth [All four of them, plus one more] took turns anally and orally raping me at the same time. All of them repeatedly did this.
Somewhere in the middle of this, inmate [F] entered . . . . [D]uring the rape, I believe it was him that said "suck this dick you white bitch.". . .

[One said:] "If you snitch on us, we'll kill you!!" The other said, "And if you do and you get transferred, you'll still die." At that time, I really believed them, and I still think this today.
—R.D, Virginia, 9/16/96

I remember after he left, the sun was rising, I was standing there in total shock. My body and my mind was numb. I didn't know what to do, so I just sat down on the commode and let what they ejaculated in me come out. After everything was out, I cleaned myself again. As I got up, I noticed the water in the commode was red. I washed myself again, put on all my clothes, got under the covers. The fear went on a rampage in my mind, shutting down my whole system. For the rest of the day I was like this. I do remember wanting to kill them or either myself . . . . I cannot fully state to you now the actual feelings of guilt or shame I felt at the time. In retrospect, I feel now that there was more I could have done and my mindset now is one of tremendous speculation. But, it all comes down to feelings of being inadequate in the defense of myself.
—R.D, Virginia, 9/16/96

I am a first-time non-violent offender, and committed a white-collar offense . . . . In September, 1994, during the week of Labor Day, I was accosted and raped in the shower . . . . While the entire incident did not last more than a few minutes, it seemed like an eternity. I was certain that I had indeed been sentenced to Hell. I was left badly bruised and crying, with a pretty hopeless outlook on the whole situation. There was no guard to be found, and so I was left to fend for myself.
—R.S., West Virginia, 9/16/96

Prison rapes occur for a number of reasons. One such reason is the insecure, weak inmate preying on another weaker inmate, to make an impression of toughness or ruthlessness that he hopes will discourage other inmates from doing the same thing to him . . . . The main reason why sexual assaults occur is because prison officials and staff promote them. It's their method of sacrificing the weak inmates to achieve and maintain control of the stronger aggressive or violent inmates.
— W.F., Missouri, 9/21/96

was sent to the orientation block to be cellmate with another prisoner already occupying a double cell. I did not know at the time that I was to share a double cell with him, that he was a known rapist in the prison . . . . I must point out that only a month and a half prior, he was accused of raping another man. On my fourth day of sharing the cell, I was ambushed and viciously raped by him. After being raped, I remained in shock and paralized in thought for two days until I was able to muster the courage to report it, this, the most dreadful and horrifying experience of my life.
—B.J., Connecticut, 9/23/96

I have long Blond hair and I weigh about 144 lbs. I am a free-world homosexual that looks and acts like a female . . . . In 1992 I came to this Unit and was put into population. There was so many gangs and violence that I had know choice but to hook up with someone that could make them give me a little respect. Well after a few days I guess he figured it was more problems than it was worth and decided to give in, "to them." A Black guy paid an officer two cartons of "Kools" to write me up so I could be moved to his block with him. Well they did just that. Money will buy anything here and I mean anything . . . . All open Homosexuals are preyed upon and if they don't choose up they get chosen.
— M.P., Arkansas, 9/24/96

When a new inmate enters an open barracks prison it triggers a sort of competition among the convicts as to who will seduce and subjugate that new arrival. Subjugation is mental, physical, financial, and sexual. Every new arrival is a potential victim. Unless the new arrival is strong, ugly, and efficient at violence, they are subject to get seduced, coerced, or raped . . . Psychosocially, emotionally, and physically the most dangerous and traumatic place I can conceive of is the open barracks prison when first viewed by a new inmate.
— L.V., Arkansas, 9/25/96

I was too embarrassed to tell the [corrections officers] what had happened [that I had been raped] . . . . The government acts as if a "man" is supposed to come right out and boldly say "I've been raped." You know that if it is degrading for a woman, how much more for a man.
— R.B., Kansas, 9/28/96

The guys who perform/promote these assaults are the "tough-guy" sorts. . . . [T]hese guys commit these attacks for power & control, not for the sex — although they are highly interested in sex. For many (most?) of these guys, it's a "badge of honor" for them, when they can abuse a "child molester" (especially sexually) and run them into p.c. (protective custody). . . . Self-esteem is a valuable commodity, in this environment, since a pronounced lack of it is a common factor among criminals. . . . By "stealing power" from others, these individuals are able to feel superior — which boosts their self-esteem.
— M.S., Nevada, 9/28/96

Prison officials seem to prefer the "slap on the wrist" in-house disciplinary approach over referring criminal charges against the perpetrators [of rape]. When pressed, they generally claim that this practice is to "protect the victim" (from an ugly court scene), but I believe it's to protect the prison from having to admit the problem exists.
— M.S., Nevada, 9/28/96

When I was sentenced I didn't hear the part of sentencing that stated, "you are hereby sentenced to six years of hard labor to the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. While there, you will be beaten daily, savagely raped, and tortured, mentally, to the point of contemplating suicide."
— L.O., Texas, 9/29/96

Young men and male of small frame structure is being beaten and raped as well as gay inmates by inmates of bigger size and gang members.
— R.G., California, 10/1/96

My abuse started in the county jail where I was raped by four inmates . . . . When I was sent to prison I informed them that I have been raped by gang member and was on medication. . . . Still I was being asked for sex and tolded that I would have to given over myself one way or another; at this point (looking back on the matter) I can see that I was going through a brake down mentally. Anyway that night I've made of my mind that I was taking my life for it seem as if that was the only way out of that Hell. So the sleeping medication that they was giving me, I save for 8 days which came to 800 MG and I took them. I was taken to the medical center where I stayed for 18 days. Every so often 5 or 6 Doctors would come into that room and look at me talking to their self. They would ask me how I feel and say no more. This one Doctor tolded me that they was going to put me back on the same yard. I told him if they do, I would take my life. He than said that he don't give a dam. I just hung my head low and cryed.
— R.G, California, 10/1/96

There is no safety for gays, young men, first timers and men of small built. The most rapes that happen are with the prison gangs. Young men and first timer's believe that they must join prison gangs for fear of safty of their lives. . . . It seem that young men and gays and first timmers are used as sacrificial lamb. The reason is to use these men as a way to keep the gangs and killers from turning on the system which created prison the Hell that it is. These young men, these gays, these first timers are turning into everything their abusers are.
— R.G., California, 10/1/96



No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons


On 10-12-93 I was assined to [a prison unit] in Abilene Texas and sense I have been on the unit I have been bete up on and sexually assaulted. It all started a week after I got to the unit. I was confronted by inmate [F] and at that time inmate [J] come up and sed that I am going to do him a faver or I will not walk out of my cell block and that was on 10-19-93. And by the time 1994 came around I had been bete up sevrule times and had been raped 2 times by the two inmates. One 5-26-94 I got assallted by a unnown inmate and have been sexually abuesd by a number of unnown inmates seens I have been on this unit. I have told the unit werdon and a number of the officers on the unit and have not got the proper proteshone that I need and the unit classification have denide me transfer to a safe keeping unit a number of times.
—D.M., Texas, 10/1/96

I was dehumanzied by the lack of empathy prison officials have towards victims of sexual assault, potential victims, inmates safety in general. Inmates are looked at and treated as subhuman across the board. If an incident can be covered it will be. If it can be ignored it will be.
— K.J., Georgia, 10/2/96

Upon my arrival to prison, my being small, white, some what feminine and niave to the Big City and prison ways, made me appear as an easy mark as a victim. A victim for extortion, robbery and/or sexual assault. I survived the attacks only because I fought several times. The fighting led the preditors to believe that I wasn't an easy mark and there was easier prey to attack.

I wish my tale ended there but it doesn't. After witnessing bigger stronger guys who had also fought back, be brutally attacked by more than one inmate and sexually assaulted, I was over-come with fear. The constant fear of being jumped by three or four guys and brutally beaten until I willingly let them sexually assault me, or was forced to endure a sexual assault, was too much for me. Wondering if I was next dominated my waking hours. I began to think of ways to escape the preditors. I chose to manipulate the psychiatric department into transferring me to a prison psychiatric hospital.

I thought that I had escaped the threat of rape, but I was wrong. Another patient there in the same dorm as me said he liked me and wanted to have sex with me. It was everywhere and escape seemed utterly hopeless. I was tired of living in fear and gave in to his demands. I let him use me and my body as if I were a real woman for his personal sexual gratification. Both oral and anal sex repeatedly for hours.

I was returned to the same prison I had fled from. Within 30 days I escaped from prison, the fear of being humiliated and treated as a sexual slave was too much and greater than the fear of being shot or prosecuted. . . . . My lawyer said that I had the best duress defense he'd ever seen.

After beating the DOC's attempt to prosecute me for escape, they enacted their vengeance. Having just turned 19 years old, they transfered me to Jackson prison. "The World's Largest Walled Prison" known for its stabbings and sexual attacks on young white males. The memory I have of my arrival is yells, mating calls and whistling at me as I walked to my cell at 2:30 am.

When in one 24 hr. period I received over a hundred notes asking who was my man, or threatening me, and more verbal threats, I attempted suicide by cutting my wrist; the only escape I could envision. When that failed the next man to approach me found me hopeless and depressed and I simply no longer cared about what happened to me. He claimed me as his property and I didnt dispute it. I became obedient, telling myself at least I was surviving. . . . He publicly humiliated and degraded me, making sure all the inmates and gaurds knew that I was a queen and his property. Within a week he was pimping me out to other inmates at $3.00 a man. This state of existence continued for two months until he sold me for $25.00 to another black male who purchased me to be his wife. It was another thirty days before an attorney was able to force the DOC to transfer me to another prison.
Word quickly spread of my activities at Jackson. That was the setting for the rest of my five yr. sentence. Though I was lucky, the rest was spent with only two men, and not hundreds of men.
— E.S., Mississippi, 10/4/96

Often the victim will be tied up on a bed, face down and sold until the debt is finished or until the novelty is gone.
— C.M., Illinois, 10/8/96

I really don't think that male on male rape is primarily a sexual thing. It is probably more of a power thing by which one person can maintain absolute control over another, or use the other to settle some financial responsibility.
— C.M., Illinois, 10/8/96

As I told you in my last letter I was sexually assulted when I was let out of adminstrative segregation July 17/96 and it got around pretty quick that I was a "turnout" they all knew. But the dude I was riding with he protected me as long as I did sexual favors for him. But he left. So no one was there to stop this inmate from falling in my house.

When he gets there he first demands money I have none so he takes my radio and headphones. He sends them to his house see he's out of place he is not supposed to be in my cell but I cant tell for fear of the other inmates. So I just stay on my bunk. Oh and we are on lock down so we only shower 3 times a week. He came in my cell Friday so he wont have a chance to go back to his cell until Monday so I just try and stay away from him.

On Saturday about 10 or 11 AM he tells me that he wants a blow job or he wants to have sex with me. Now I dont know why but I refused I said please dont so he hits me 3 times in my face and upper body I come down off the top bunk to try and defend my self but before I have a chance he pulls out a knife on me! When I reach for his wrist to try and get the knife I get cut but not to bad. But I do manage to get the knife away from him. I dont remember cutting him as many times as he was cut. But I took his own knife and I defended my self. He was cut a few times got a bunch of stitches: I then layed the weapon on the ground he picked it up and threw it out of the cell. I then started yelling for the Guards.

Now even though I was in my cell and he wasn't supposed to be there he was out of place even though I was cut and he admitted possion of the weapon and even though he admitted that he came in my cell to do me harm I was still given a major case "which f**ks off chance of parole for me for a long time." I was still put in solitary for segregation for 15 days. Now on 10/8/96 I was put in administrative segregation for assult with a weapon I dont even know when I'll get out plus they might file a free world charge on me so that I get more time. I tryed to tell them it was self defence and that I need protective custody but they wouldnt listen. I dont know what I'll do if Im charged cause I'll have to plea bargin I'd be to scared to take it to trial for fear of losing. Those people dont care about what happens in here and if I lose I'd get more time than if I plea bargined and alls I can do is hope for the best.
— T.B., Texas, 10/8/96

I didn't know how the prison system work, so this inmate come up to the A & O unit and gives me three packs of cigarettes, I didn't know where they came from, or why they was given to me, I took the cigarettes, two weeks later I was placed in population, and here come this big old guy name [M], telling me that I belong to him because he had bought me, and had the same guy there who had brought me the cigarettes to verify it.
—C.D., Indiana, 10/8/96

I know you don't want to hear this but it is prison officials, jail officials that causes men to be f**ked in prison. . . . [P]rison officials approve of men getting f**ked in prison and to attack it at the prisoners level, you are fighting a losing battle, start with prison officials, people in authority, they are the one that causes people to get f**ked against their will.
— C.D., Indiana, 10/8/96

I have seen or heard of rapes on a weekly basis at the least. Mostly it is a daily occurrence. Rapes are a very common occurrence due to the fact of coercion being "played" on ignorant first timers. Once someone is violated sexually and there is no consequences on the perpetrators, that person who was violated then becomes a mark or marked. That means he's fair game.
— M.B., Indiana, 10/10/96

As I go back to the time I was attacked, I was only about 145 lbs, white, blue eyed and smoothed skin. I was about 5' 10" and very disliking of crowds. It was about 1 pm or 1:30 pm before showers. 2 black males (gang related) ran into my cell, one very large and the other more my size. I was hit, and put face down on the mattress. A knee in my back and a pillow case under my chin (like a horse bridle), being weaker made me vulnerable to be taken advantage of (note: this paragraph is not detailed action for action but only a brief take). Being scared I was too much in a trance to go to the unranked officers because many at the time were promoters of the non-survival of the weak. . . . I feel that maybe some women might look at me as less than a man. My pride feels beaten to a pulp.
— E.R., Texas, 10/10/96.

Someone with a slower mental process or lower I.Q. usually gets tricked into sexual devastation in some decivious way and the officers look the other way or leave, as Texas stays understaffed for that reason so an officer can just walk off and never see a thing.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

At least 90% of assaults are not even reported to staff. Occasionally the victim is a person who could fight off one inmate but there is a bet between groups or gangs to make him a "bitch," and the bettor will get a few of his home boys and go assault him.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

Smaller, weaker, meeker individuals are usually targets. Meeker individuals tend to "act Gay" is how it's described here and in turn invites assault through the agressors mind. A new inmate needs to come into the system ready to fight and with a strong mind. He will be approached by a bigger guy who will let him know he's going to "fight, f**k or pay protection." . . . . He will offer the new comer wire (for a radio antena) coffee or something so the new comer will come back and the subject will come up every time the new comer comes around and before long the new comer wants to know what the deal is. They go to a job or fall off in a cell agree to be easy, keep it between them, just do each other, ect. When the dude get's the new comer it's over and the dude will tell the new comer he'll take care of him or he'll tell everybody he's just a little bitch . . . . Should the new comer seek assistance of staff, staff just laughs at him, the physic department just says what do you want me to do. It's a no win situation and frustration often leads them to keep up the practice.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

Another game is to get an inmate indebted to an inmate give them a week to have your money when they don't it automatically doubles. Then the next week you take it out in trade. Even if the new comer has someone out there that will send the money, by the time they write and the money is sent and posted it's too late anyway. This way some will fight some will feel obligated. [The games] are endless but ever so real.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

I have been on 3 units on one of the units I have been on, you heard of rapes just about daily on the other 2 though maybe you heard of rape once a month maybe. The units with the younger offenders seem to carry by far the higher rates of sexual assaults.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

Texas does not pay inmates. Some inmates sell there bodies just for basics like toothpaste, soap, shampoo, tooth brush, deodorant, things others take for granted.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

On the younger units I would say you have a rape at least weekly. From the people I have known in my 10 years I would say about 50% have been forced to hook up with someone not necessarily for protection but due to survival having necessities or attention.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

I would say the bigger prisons allow more rape because of understaffing and the prisons with the younger offenders, not necessarily maximum security.
— R.B., Texas, 10/13/96

Even after the gang rape I endured, I was still poorly classified and two violent inmates with a record of violence threatened to sexually assault me and take my store goods. I tried to fight back, which resulted in my jaw being broke in 3 places.
— K.J., Georgia, 10/13/96

The man who is responsible for my rape has a history of this type of behaviour. He usually preys on young white kids. His method of approach is lending smokes and drugs to get them in debt and then asks to be repaid. When the person can't pay he offers to let them have sex, and when they say no, he rapes them. I don't know why I was a victim I owed him nothing neither did I associate with him. Did I turn him on? I porbably did, since I was 23 years old at that . . . as they say in prison--a sweet pretty young thing. My rape is known throughout the prison system as everyone knows the person who did it and likes to brag about it, so its unsafe for me to be in population as now I am a snitch, a homo and my safety is in jeapordy.
— R.G., Delaware, 10/17/96

Another type of coerced sex is for the dominant party to first let the intended victim know that he wants to have sex with him, then begin to wear the victim down by constantly leering at him in ways that let the victim know what's on his mind. Psychologically the victim eventually begins to believe he is a homosexual and no longer resists. It's similar to how a sexual abuse victim, afterward, begins to believe there is something wrong with them that caused the abuse to happen, which causes them to accept part of the responsibility for their abuse.
— P.S., Texas, 10/17/96

Being raped in prison is degrading and humiliating. It tags you as belonging to the inmate who raped you. One must never talk openly about being raped for fear of being severely beaten or killed.
— M.G., Oklahoma, 10/19/96

When a person come to prison, if they see fear in their face, or anywhere, they will be easy prey.
— M.O., Illinois, 10/20/96

While I was being uncuffed at the rec door by Officer W. he made the comment that faggots are sickening and disgusting. . . . Inmates see this type of behavior as approval to beat, rape and extort gay men in prison because of the anomosity and hateful attitudes displayed by the state.
— A.H., Indiana, 10/27/96 (offender grievance, denied 10/30/96, with response that "Officer W. states that he at no time mentioned the word fagget")

On 10-21-96 Officer G. came to get me from rec. . . . He had the leash wrapped around my waist, then yanked on it spinning me around. Telling me "move fag." I asked him what the hell was his problem. He shoved me and then yanked on the leash several times in the course of escorting me to my cell. Then pulled out the mace as though he were to spray me. He continued calling me a faggot dick sucker throughout this process. Officer M. witnessed this. . . . I have suffered from a lot of abuse in this prison including my rape to this kind of abuse from staff. I am sick of this treatment.
— A.H., Indiana, 10/21/96 (grievance filed, denied with response: "WRONG FORM")

Older men who have been in here for a long time like Young men because they are more healthy, better looking, and more inexperienced. The older men like the "power" they have over their victims. A Younger man is scared, nervous, shy, etc. He doesn't know what to do, so he freezes, get's very quiet, and allows himself to be victimized.
— R.L., New York, 10/21/96

The guards just turn their backs. Their mentality is the tougher, colder, and more cruel and inhuman a place is, the less chance a person will return. This is not true. The more negative experiences a person goes through, the more he turns into a violent, cruel, mean, heartless individual, I know this to be a fact.
— R.L., New York, 10/21/96

Transexuals and homosexuals are for the most part viewed as weak. One step up from rapist on the social ladder. Usually considered the property of another inmate.

In prison, male on male sexual relations are viewed differently then those of free-society. The aggressive person (male role) isn't considered a homosexual, or bisexual. He's thought of as heterosexual. Only the passive (female role) is considered homosexual or bisexual.
— E.S., Mississippi, 10/21/96

To begin let me tell you a little about myself. I am 32 yrs of age, I'm an American of African decent. I'm currently serving a 5 ½ yr sentence for trafficking in stolen property . . . . I feel I should also add because it has bearing on some of the observations I'll share with you, I'm gay and have been since I was aware of my sexuality . . . .

Let me say I believe there are different levels or kinds of rape in prison. First, there is what I will refer to as "Bodily Force Rape" for lack of a better term. This is the kind of assault where one or more individuals attack another individual and by beating and subduing him force sex either anal or oral on him.

Second there is what I'll call Rape By Threat. An example of this would be, when an individual tells a weaker individual that in order to avoid being assulted by the individual who's speaking he must submit to his demand for sex.

Third and by far the most common is what I'll call using a persons fears of his situation to convince him to submit to sex.

I will give you my observations on all these types of assult shortly; but first I feel I should tell you the people most at risk. And they are white males usualy slight of build and physicaly atractive, between 17-25 yrs of age. Please note although other ethnic groups such as young blacks and Hispanics have sufferd these indignities it happens to them far far less often than to young whites . . . . .

The last form of "rape," using a persons fear against him. Among inmates there is a debate wheather this is in fact rape at all. In my opinion it is in fact rape. Let me give you an example of what happens and you decide.

Example: A new inmate arrives. He has no funds for the things he needs such as soap, junk food, and drugs (there are a great deal of drugs in prisons). Someone befriends him and tells him if he needs anything come to him. The new arrival is some times aware, but most times not, that what he is receiving has a 100% interest rate that is compounded weekly. When the N.A. is in deep enough the "friend" will tell him he can cover some of his debt by submitting to sex. This has been the "friend's" objective from the begining. To manuver the N.A. into a corner where he's vulnerable. Is this rape? I think it is.
— B.H., Florida, 10/22/96

I believe only a minute amount of these incidences get reported; the individules this happens to live in fear. In fear of the perpetrators, but even more significant, thay fear other people knowing thay've been victomized in this mannor. They suffer in silence, think thay are less than men and fearing the world and thair familys will know of thair shame.
— B.H., Florida, 10/22/96


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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 ½ 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 f**ked, 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 f**k 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 attacker—something 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 "f**k-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



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