While no one wants to think that they will be sexually assaulted while in prison, this issue does happen. In some cases, other inmates may be the perpetrators of this crime. In other instances, correctional facility workers may commit this crime against inmates. If you are worried about sexual abuse or you believe that you have been assaulted, keep in mind that the law protects you from such actions. You can and should seek help to make sure that this does not happen again and to hold the responsible party accountable. You can learn more about sexual assault in prison on this page.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment are not allowed in our society and in prisons. There are laws in place to prevent them from happening and to hold people responsible if they violate the laws. Common examples of sexual issues include:
- Rape or attempted rape.
- Unwanted touching.
- Forcing a person to perform sexual acts, for example oral sex.
- Using emotional, physical, or psychological force to make a person commit sexual acts that they do not consent to.
- Unwanted sexual attention.
- Making sexual threats.
These are just a few examples of inappropriate behavior that can be prosecuted whether a person is in prison or not.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003
As I have mentioned, prison inmates are protected from sexual assault while they are in a correctional facility. The first federal law put into place to deter and hold accountable the sexual abuse of prison inmates was the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). This act instituted a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault in prisons in an effort to deter correctional facility employees from perpetrating these crimes. Sexual assault policies in prisons became clearer and more readily available in order to hold prison officials accountable for their actions and to help inmates and employees alike understand what is and is not appropriate.
PREA established the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission who’s goal is to learn more about sexual assault and rape in prison. PREA also made it a top priority to prevent prison rape throughout the United States. It also offered training and resources for Department of Corrections workers to learn more about sexual assault and how to prevent it.
While the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 was the first of its kind, it has been followed by other acts and laws which are meant to deter sexual assault in prison and to punish those who perpetrate it.
If you think that you are the victim of sexual assault as a prison inmate, there are many ways that you can get help. First, you can file a formal complaint with the correctional facility that you are in. Second, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer who can defend your rights and help you bring the perpetrator to justice. At our office, our team has the knowledge and passion to help you with a potential sexual assault issue. Contact us to learn more and to seek the justice that you deserve.