First, although some older inmates commit rape, the perpetrators also tend to be young, if not always as young as their victims--generally well under thirty-five years old. They are frequently larger or stronger than their victims, and are generally more assertive, physically aggressive, and more at home in the prison environment. They have typically been convicted of more violent crimes than their victims. The myth of the "homosexual predator" is groundless.
Although gay inmates are much more likely than other inmates to be victimized in prison, they are not likely to be perpetrators of sexual abuse.
The elements of race and ethnicity have a complex and significant bearing on the problem of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual abuse.
As previously discussed, racial and ethnic distinctions are nowhere more salient than they are in prison: all social interaction is refracted through the prism of these group differences. Some inmates told Human Rights Watch of hardened convicts who prey on young prisoners.
Inter-racial sexual abuse is common only to the extent that it involves white non-Hispanic prisoners being abused by African Americans or Hispanics. One spoke of "a guy who has served over 20 years, and he is a tough guy.
In contrast, African American and Hispanic inmates are much less frequently abused by members of other racial or ethnic groups; instead, sexual abuse tends to occur only within these groups. What he has done for years, is gets the young guys in his cell & gets them high & then chokes them unconsious & proceeds to rape them." Belying the stereotype of the older predator, however, is the much more common story of the young perpetrator of sexual abuse, generally someone between twenty and thirty years old.
While all of the above factors are relevant and important, none should not viewed as controlling. When I was in B pod I had 3 dude's coming to me that said they was the only thing that was keeping me from getting raped, and they wanted to jack off and look at me. At age 16, they are just thrown to the wolves, so to speak, in population. I never told on anyone for it, but did ask the officer for protective custody. Although very young prisoners--those under twenty--are likely to be abused by prisoners who are older than them, most inmates in their twenties who reported abuse to Human Rights Watch were not abused by inmates significantly older than they were. In the wrong circumstances, it should be emphasized, almost any prisoner may be at risk of sexual abuse. The pod I'm in now I had 2 people come to me and put a ink pen to my neck and tell me that if I didn't let them jack off on me they were going to rape me. never directly said that he was raped but he has complained about severe and continuing sexual harassment from adult prisoners. I have not heard of one making it more than a week in population without being "laid." [When I was sent to prison,] I was just barely 18 years of age, about 90 pounds. Unsurprisingly--given that physical force, or at least the implicit threat of physical force, is a common element of rape in prison--victims of rape tend to be smaller and weaker than perpetrators. Human Rights Watch's sources of information were almost entirely made up of white, African American, and Hispanic inmates; we did not receive enough information from members of other minorities to be able to reach any conclusions as to their general situation. Proper classification and monitoring of vulnerable prisoners should be one aspect of a rape prevention plan, but only one aspect: other prevention policies are equally necessary to stop sexual abuse in prison. I told the officer but they didn't do any thing about it. Prisoners in other institutions have confirmed that R. Prisoners even fight each other over a youth without the young man knowing anything about it to see whom will have the Boy first as his property. In one extreme example, an inmate who described himself as "a small person weighing only about 140 pounds" told Human Rights Watch of an attack "by a man about 6'7" and weighing approximately 280 pounds." Many more inmates described being intimidated or overpowered by larger, stronger perpetrators. See, for example, Leo Carroll, "Humanitarian Reform and Biracial Sexual Assault in a Maximum Security Prison," in Anthony M. Certain prisoners are targeted for sexual assault the moment they enter a penal facility: their age, looks, sexual orientation, and other characteristics mark them as candidates for abuse. A clear example is that of Dee Farmer, a young preoperative transsexual with "overtly feminine characteristics" who was placed in regular housing in a maximum-security federal prison. Brutally raped within two weeks of arriving, Farmer sued in federal court--later bringing the case all the way up to the U. Supreme Court--arguing that as a transsexual she was extremely likely to face sexual assault in prison.