Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal


Samiera Saliba


For thousands of women incarcerated in U.S. prisons, punishment has come to include sexual abuse by male prison guards. Twenty-five percent of women inside prison report such abuse, and that number likely falls short of the true figure. Nonetheless, the majority of guards in women's prisons continue to be male.

This note first explores the reasons for the prevalence of sexual abuse in women's prisons. It moves on to the effect of this abuse on women inside and on their communities. The note also surveys the legal barriers that prevent abused women inside from seeking redress. Finally, the note proposes a new legal framework for protecting women from and remedying sexual abuse in prison.

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