Skip to main content

View Diary: Prisoner Rape and the War on Drugs (13 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Can he sue them? (0+ / 0-)

    He reported the rapes, he tried to get the prison officials to stop it.

    Can't he sue the prison for MEGABUCKS?

    •  Tough (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, greenskeeper, Kingsmeg

      It's extremely tough to sue for prison rape for several reasons:

      1. The prison controls all the information.  They control all the reports, have personnel around who can give bland reports that they saw nothing, can hire one of a number of experts whose only job is to go around at trials testifying how wonderful prison is and how all prisoners are liars.
      1. To get witnesses, you need other prisoners.  They have their own interests and are completely under control of the prison.  Very few are willing to go against the prison and risk sub-rosa punishment (say, being placed in a cell with a rapist with AIDS).  Worse, trials can take years.  Even if you get someone to testify and interview him, there is a good chance he will have been leaned on in the intervening time and will clam up.
      1. Your victim is rarely sympathetic.  He is a criminal.  The prison knows everything bad about everything he's ever done, and he's probably done lots.  Prisoners have bad times in prison.  They do drugs and become untrusting.  They make very unsympathetic people on the witness stands and juries often don't trust them.
      1. People quietly accept it.  There is a real, though often unspoken, feeling that it is the fault of the prisoner, either for his crime or for being weak enough to be raped.  While anyone would support a rule banning rape, few juries will give damages for something that they really blame the victim for.

      Those are just a few of the issues facing prison rape suits.  They are incredibly difficult to win, which is why the problem is so hard to address.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site