Sunday, June 24, 2012

Men can get raped, too

Hi Friends;

  Below is a very disturbing article.  I would caution callousness towards those portrayed, believing any who live in such an environment worthy of all the depredations inherent.  What I would hope, and with those who read this blog I think I'm safe doing so, is that we remember that not only are these someone's family, but that rarely are these men going to be forever in this environment.  We need to understand that we are responsible for how we treat people in every environment.  The purpose of prison is not only to protect society from crime, but to give the person a chance to pay for his crimes, redeem himself, and reenter society as a good person. 

Christopher Glazer takes to N+1 magazine to argue that we should Raise the Crime Rate.

Statistics are notoriously slippery, but the figures that suggest that violence has been disappearing in the United States contain a blind spot so large that to cite them uncritically, as the major papers do, is to collude in an epic con. Uncounted in the official tallies are the hundreds of thousands of crimes that take place in the country’s prison system, a vast and growing residential network whose forsaken tenants increasingly bear the brunt of America’s propensity for anger and violence.
Crime has not fallen in the United States—it’s been shifted. Just as Wall Street connived with regulators to transfer financial risk from spendthrift banks to careless home buyers, so have federal, state, and local legislatures succeeded in rerouting criminal risk away from urban centers and concentrating it in a proliferating web of hyperhells. The statistics touting the country’s crime-reduction miracle, when juxtaposed with those documenting the quantity of rape and assault that takes place each year within the correctional system, are exposed as not merely a lie, or even a damn lie—but as the single most shameful lie in American life.

From 1980 to 2007, the number of prisoners held in the United States quadrupled to 2.3 million, with an additional 5 million on probation or parole.

Victims in juvenile facilities, or facilities for women, have an even tougher time: usually it’s the guards, rather than the inmates, who coerce them into sex. The guards tell their victims that no one will believe them, and that complaining will only make things worse. This is sound advice: even on the rare occasions when juvenile complaints are taken seriously and allegations are substantiated, only half of confirmed abusers are referred for prosecution, only a quarter are arrested, and only 3 percent end up getting charged with a crime.

In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.

America’s prison system is a moral catastrophe. The eerie sense of security that prevails on the streets of lower Manhattan obscures, and depends upon, a system of state-sponsored suffering as vicious and widespread as any in human history. Dismantling the system of American gulags, and holding accountable those responsible for their operation, presents the most urgent humanitarian imperative of our time.

Progressives lament the growth of private prisons (prisons for profit). But it’s sadism, not avarice, that fuels the country’s prison crisis. Prisoners are not the victims of poor planning (as other progressive reformers have argued)—they are the victims of an ideological system that dehumanizes an entire class of human being and permits nearly infinite violence against it. As much as a physical space, prisons denote an ethical space, or, more precisely, a space where ordinary ethics are suspended. Bunk beds, in and of themselves, are not cruel and unusual. University dorms have bunk beds, too. What matters is what happens in those beds. In the dorm room, sex, typically consensual. In prisons, also sex, but often violent rape. The prisons are “overcrowded,” we are told (and, in fact, courts have ruled). “Overcrowding” is a euphemism for an authoritarian nightmare.

While the attempt to count the number of rapes in America’s prisons is new, the problem is not. Alas, it’s one quite unlikely to go away because the overwhelming majority of Americans are perfectly happy to shift the risk of violent crime off our streets and out of our neighborhoods and into walled communities where people regarded as little more than vicious animals are housed. That they face a good chance of being raped while there is variously seen as fodder for jokes, the wicked getting their just desserts, or collateral damage. It’s virtually inconceivable that political will to do something about the problem will coalesce any time soon.


Sammy B said...

Hello Randy
The veneer of 'civilisation' is very thin indeed in some cases. And people making jokes about others being raped simply proves that point. No-one, not even the most vicious rapist, deserves to be raped. Ever.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

Scottie said...

I agree with Sammy in what he said above, and I would continue to advance the argument that when we lose empathy for other, when the pain and suffering of even the least among us stops to affect us, then we have lost our humanity.

I believe in a collective consciousness, an energy field around all of us, formed from every living thing. I include the universe in this. The planet is living also.

Now the more positive things happen, the more we do better, treat each other with love, spread good, love, happiness, the stronger those emotions become and the stronger we all grow.

The more violence, terror, hate, rape, hurt, all the negative emotions happen, the worse we all become and the stronger the "evil" grows.

I want to be part of a positive growth, I want to live in that world. It is harder sometimes to do the right thing, but it helps all of us.

One last thing. we are taught in the hospital to not use stereotypes or Pt life style, habits or willfully doing what may have put them in the hospital.
No matter what we deal with the symptoms and the person, not the whys.

And that is how we should is for us to help get them well, others to treat the whys of why they got ill in the first place.

and that is good as a positive envelopment helps heal. Hugs and loves

randy said...

I think you have both said it all.

thanks, randy