The good people at SPR have a new report out about the rape of Drug War prisoners. It contains words from the victims themselves. You can read the accompanying press release here. The report is absolutely damning of our drug policy and our treatment of prisoners. It is one of those things that make you wonder how the sympathetic eyes of this nation have been blinded for so long.
Some excerpts from the report can be found below.
Remember, these are all people who were sent to prison for non-violent drug offenses:
When I went to prison, people started preying on me. I started getting attacked almost right away. I got jumped on in prison. I got beaten. I had a knife pulled on me.
I got sexually attacked too. You get labeled as a faggot if you get raped. If it gets out and then people know you have been raped, that opens the door for a lot of other predators. Anywhere I was, everybody looked at me like I was a target. I wrote everything down and documented it. I filed grievances. I did all the procedures that I could do.
I fought. I deliberately disobeyed so I could run away from my predators. I deliberately caught charges. I went to the hole. When they put you in the hole, it’s complete isolation. It was just so hard.
Eventually, they put me in protective custody. That didn’t work. I was raped there too. A lot of folks get into protective custody. They put me in a cell with a predator, a guy that had full-blown AIDS. He attacked me. He made me perform oral sex and then he had anal sex with me against my will.
You never forget. You never heal from it emotionally. You might heal your body, but you will never get over it emotionally. That’s something that is stuck in you. I wake up with it on my mind.
I started getting sick. I started bleeding really bad from the rectum. That’s when I got the devastating news. Then everything added up. The guy that raped me in the cell had full-blown AIDS.
I felt suicidal. I felt like my world had come to an end. I felt ashamed, embarrassed, degraded, and humiliated.
I spent eight months in jail, I got raped, and I lost everything I own, but my sentence was probation.
I saw all this stuff about Abu Ghraib. People were outraged that this was happening overseas, but this is also happening in our nation’s capital. It’s happening to people who need drug treatment. It’s happening to 19-year-old girls who have low self-esteem. It’s happening to people who are arrested for the first time after being completely strung out. This is happening in our country.
In Sacramento, the deputies were letting inmates into my cell to have sex with me against my will. The first time it happened, I tried to tell the inmate no. He showed me some autopsy photos. He said, ‘This is what happens to people who fuck with me.’
One particular evening, when they opened the cell doors to allow the inmates to come out to the dining hall, I stayed in my cell to eat food from the commissary. When the officers opened my cell door, a muscle-built guy who was doing a life sentence for aggravated rape came into my cell and tried to get me to jack him off. When I refused, he hit me four or five times in my sternum, my ribs, and my kidneys. Then, he raped me in the cell.
I did make an attempt to fight back, but I was no match for this guy. I weighed about 165. He was about an inch or two taller than me and I’d say he weighed about 220 or 230 pounds.
He gave me body blows that literally put me to the ground. He grabbed me and put his arms around me and slammed me up against the bars and forced me down and forced my pants off of me. At that point, my sternum was cracked and my ribs were bruised. I felt like there was a possibility that he might kill me if I resisted. I’d seen what he had done to me at first when I resisted. I was in a lot of pain and I was scared.
A few hours later, I took an overdose of several hundred Tylenol. I refused to allow them to pump my stomach. They took me to the hospital. They forced me—there were four or five officers that held me down while the doctor gave me some kind of injection to make me go to sleep. They pumped my stomach while I was unconscious.
The next day I woke up in intensive care. I felt really humiliated and disrespected and embarrassed. I felt anger. I was still suicidal. I told the doctor what had happened. The officers that were at the hospital were making derogatory comments like, ‘Well, he should have fought back if he didn’t want to get raped.’
Shameful, simply shameful.
If you have the time be sure to read the whole report.
Here's a past diary on the subject:
Signing statment may cover-up prison rape