Prisoner sexual abuse prevelant in PA

    Pennsylvania’s prison system has made some strides, but prisoner advocates say the state still has hurdles to overcome when it comes to prisoner sexual abuse.

    Pennsylvania’s prison system has made some strides, but prisoner advocates say the state still has hurdles to overcome when it comes to prisoner sexual abuse.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090703sbprison.mp3]

    The study by the Prison Rape Elimination Commission recommends the U.S. Attorney General institute a zero tolerance policy on rape, along with better staff training and victim treatment.

    The Pennsylvania prison system has an anonymous sexual abuse hotline and medical treatment for victims, but observers say prisons should do more following a prison rape. Angus Love is Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project.

    Love: Right now, when an incident like that happens, both individuals are thrown into disciplinary confinement pending an investigation. Usually it gets sorted out in the long run, but it takes a while.

    Love also says the state should provide single cells for victims of abuse and better monitoring of vulnerable populations, but that chronic prison overcrowding makes such a move all but impossible.

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