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Can Inmates Who Are Raped in Prison Sue the Government?

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posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 07:27 AM

Originally posted by F4guy
reply to post by mobiusmale

To succinctly answer your question, the answer is yes. A more insightful question would be, "Can an inmate win, or is he likely to win, such a suit. Except for a few limited situations, there is no pre-filing screening process for lawsuits. Anyone can grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down anything, take it to a courthouse, pay the filing fee, and voila, somebody is sued. Then the "screening begins, usually as a result of a Rule 12 motion to dismiss for one of a number of reasons, or of a Rule 56 Motion for Summary Judgment.
One large impediment to the success of such a suit would be the defense of sovereign immunity, although a case would have a better chance of evading that defense if framed as a "1983" action for a deprivation of rights under color of state law, or, if it's a federal prison, a "Bivens" action. Incidentally, one study showed that a rape by prison staff occured three times more often than a rape by a fellow inmate.

I would like to thank you for your answer...first as to the fact that an inmate has the right to sue.

But, could you possibly enlighten us a little more as to what a "1983" action is...or a "Bivens" action?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 07:58 AM
Like they say, "capital punishment makes the state a murderer". The alternative
is prison which makes the state a gay dungeon master. The prisons would be
deserted if they prosecuted drug violations the way they do immigration violations.

If the feds want the borders wide open for all the drugs and illegals to enter should
the end user really be punished? I don't use drugs but they do account for a large
portion of the prison population. Just because someone is in prison for some type
of theft or something not involving drugs doesn't automatically mean it's not drug
related. A lot of residential burglaries are committed to fence the stuff for drugs

I don't know how incoming prisoners could be screened well enough to prevent this.
You would always have someone "slip through" the screening process. The
alternative. "isolation" (as in solitary confinement?) seems like cruel and unusual
punishment as well. A lot of drug crimes come with mandatory sentences. Put
almost anyone in solitary for 10 years (or more) and you probably would turn them
a genuine threat to society. A worse threat than the butt violatee.

I guess you could say prison is a bummer.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:12 AM
reply to post by KaiserSoze

The prisons would be deserted if they prosecuted drug violations the way they do immigration violations.

This is an interesting observation.

There is very little done (other than turning a blind eye) to those breaking immigration laws. The numbers of "living free" immigration criminals are so large, in fact, that many think the only solution is partial or complete amnesty.

But for those found to be selling or using drugs (many of which are supplied by said illegal immigrants)...we throw the book at them and keep them in jail for decades at a time.

If fewer people were in jail...then fewer in-jail rapes would occur. Perhaps this would be at least part of the solution.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:19 AM
1. Yes, they can sue. The state is responsible for the prisoner's safety and well being.
Rape would contradict their responsibilities.
2. Proof in court, however, is another thing. Remember, all lawsuits must go before a court and bring ample proof.

3. Hard to gather evidence and proof from a cell, with guards that have a financial incentive to destroy any proof.

So yes, in theory, they can sue.
Actually proving and winning a case in a court of law is another matter .

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:34 AM

Originally posted by mobiusmale
reply to post by KaiserSoze

But for those found to be selling or using drugs (many of which are supplied by said illegal immigrants)...we throw the book at them and keep them in jail for decades at a time.

I agree until you posted this:

Many drugs are supplied by illegal immigrants? WTF kind of BS is that?

That is 100% media propaganda. Big Pharma brings in more dangerous dope than any illegal.

1. Most smugglers use very legal US citizens to smuggle their drugs into the US, not illegals.
Illegals can't drive through the boarder.
I live 20 minutes from Mexico. We see arrests daily in the local news. Most are citizens of the US.
The most widely used illegal substance in America is Cannabis, and 99% of it is grown right here on US soil, with half of it being grown LEGALLY in states that allow cultivation.

2. No matter what they tell you, Illegals do not sneak into the US to grow LEGAL pot on US land. That's th3e dumbest thing I have heard a newscasters spew in years.
I guess they assume the Smugglers are as dumb as their audience.

In fact... most of the hard drugs imported are done by Big Pharma.. they haul in metric TONS of Opium into the US every day. How do you think they synthesize all that Oxy contin, Vicodin, codine, morphine etc...It all comes from the poppy plant.
All legally imported by big pharma...while the public thinks we are eradicating poppy fields in Afghanistan.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by NuclearPaul

Oh good grief you have now annoyed me. I've been a Correctional Officer for 23 years and I nor any of my co-workers ever put an inmate in harms way. That would not only be wrong on many levels but a career ender. Yes, we get sued over just about anything. I would also point out that sexual assault also includes an unwanted touch.

For the record we do our level best to ensure the safety of all that would include the public, inmates and staff. However, prison is by it's very nature dangerous no matter how hard we try. I work the protective custody unit designed to keep high risk inmates safe and we do a darn good job of it Any allegations of wrong doing or assault are investigated as required by federal law, sexual assault is covered under PREA and I've been involved in those investigations they are very very intense. I hate conducting those investigations by the way.

If you have reasonable questions and ask them politely I'm happy to try and answer them.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:49 AM
I cannot fathom the cost to taxpayers if you tried to place 150,000 incarcerated individuals in isolation. Much less the cost to society as a whole from creating monsters who will be released upon that society after 2, 5, or 10 years of isolation. Most of those here advocating this would not last a few months, much less several years.

Prison rape is no different than rape in society. It's all about power, violence, and dehumanizing the victim. More rapes in prison occur during the first few days of incarceration, in an intake facility prior to inmates being classified. As for "guards" being all powerful, placing inmates in a cell with another inmate to see him/her raped, not gonna happen in most prisons. 99.9 % of prison cell moves are initiated by non-security countroom personnel, after review by senior security supervisors, to prevent such incidents from happening. "Guards" cannot initiate a cell move after hours. These must be initiated and approved by a senior security official, with a lot of justification.

Can the state or federal government be sued by someone in their custody who was raped? Technically, yes. Will they win? Probably not. Someone mentioned suing local police or governments because they were raped, would not work, since police cannot be everywhere. Prison is it's own little society. As such, the police in prisons cannot be everywhere at once. On a good night in a prison that houses 2,250 inmates, there might be 55 to 60 guards present. After you deduct the positions that are required but are not inmate contact positions, you are left with roughly 30 officers to keep tabs on all the inmates. This is a good night. Most nights are much worse.

Prison rape is going to occur, but with due diligence, a lot of incidents can be avoided and prevented. It will never be stopped completely. I wish it could, for everyone's sake.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 09:56 AM
reply to post by gallopinghordes

I guess the question is, and assuming most correctional officers are as honest and dedicated as you are, how have we gotten into this situation...where prison rape is so common?

Is it a lack of supervision? Is it staff shortages? Is it a lack of monitoring of high risk areas or activities? Is it apathy? Is it (the premise of widespread rape) untrue? Something else?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 10:32 AM
reply to post by mobiusmale

There are several reasons first and foremost lack of staff we have been taken to Critical Minimum meaning if there is an issue there is no help coming just the three of us and 107 of the worst inmates in the facility. Sound like fun?

You also have to take into account the people you are dealing with. Inmates are not in there because they are nice to others at least for the most part. Most are violent individuals who don't care about themselves let alone anybody else.

Rape is not a crime of sexual passion but rather one of violence and control. I would love to see it eliminated not only in prison but society in general however, as long as you have people who feel entitled to take what they want when they want it will continue.

We control the violence as much as we can but you cannot isolate inmates from each other all the time. First of all it would increase the likelihood of more violence and is detrimental to their success upon release.

There are no easy answers to this issue. I can only tell you we do our best and yes I have in 23 years picked up the victims and would just as soon not do it again ever. But, in those 23 years I've only had to deal with three victims, and yes that is three too many.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 10:41 AM
You're dealing with a population of criminals.

If you allow one lawsuit about rape in prison then many of those in prison would join the band wagon whether or not they have been raped.

You don't get to prison for being an honest person. So why wouldn't they lie about it?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 10:52 AM
Sure, you can sue anyone for anything. But it does not mean you will win. In this case, I suspect you would lose. I think you would be more likely to have a positive outcome if you sued or pressed charges against the person that raped you....

If I am in prison, it is because I put myself there. If I get raped I am pressing charges against the rapist. Not the state who is housing me because I broke the law.

My humble take on it, anyway.

Take it or leave it

edit on 23-12-2011 by gimme_some_truth because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 11:07 AM
The answer is yes...the inmate can sue the state if raped in prison...and the administrator and all employees would be held liable...

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) is the first United States federal law passed dealing with the sexual assault of prisoners. The bill was signed into law on September 4, 2003.

This was signed into law by President Bush in 2003.

Having worked in prisons for most of my adult life, the issue is very real. I realize the tendency is to bash people who take jobs in prison, thinking they are mindless and do not care...but that is not always the case...Working in a prison is a very difficult job...

I have seen commentary here advocating solitary, but that is not the answer...I think most prisons should be converted to single rooms, with opportunity to mingle in common areas...

Remember, here in the US, most of the people we incarcerate are drug users, drug dealers, and the mentally ill (after Reagan did away with the NIMH).

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 11:11 AM
In addition, this is one issue that should concern many Americans and anyone else who is utilizing PRIVATE COMPANIES to run their institutions...

The sole purpose for Government to exist is to protect and preserve their citizenry from acts of outside other words, ENFORCE LAWS!!!

Prisons are the end result for some who are found to violate LAWS...Therefore, it should be the GOVERNMENT who carries out ALL ASPECTS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM START TO FINISH...private companies have ZERO BUSINESS in any aspect law enforcement...especially in prison, since all they are concerned about is PROFIT and the bottom line...

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 11:13 AM
reply to post by Wildbob77

You have zero clue about the ability to lie about being do realize there are tests performed to validate the veracity of any claims, correct?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by mobiusmale
I'm not sure as to the legality, but I absolutely think that whoever is responsible for incarcerating the inmate should also be directly responsible for that inmate's welfare and security as regards any non-self-inflicted injuries: they have made this person a ward of the state, disarmed them, and imprisoned them with quite likely violent people and a knowledge of history of sexual assaults in such venue.

As far as I can see, this is NOTHING like getting raped on the street - on the street, you are free: free to avoid certain areas, people, and so forth. You are free to have armed yourself with some sort of protection.

In prison you're trapped with those society acknowledges - fairly or not - as those most likely to commit various acts of unpleasantness, with no serious means of self defense other than what you can do with your body or rely on the guards to provide.

I won't even bother getting into how backwards and ineffective our "corrections" system is - compared to more lenient and SAFE examples like those in europe, it's an utter failure and only breeds criminals or the embittered disfunctional - in large part.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:08 PM

Originally posted by muzzleflash
Yes it is a direct violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

VIII Amendment Wiki - Must Read!!

I think the eighth amendment would apply to the captors and their treatment of whom they incarcerate? Now I could be wrong, but I think it applies to the authorities and the jailors. With that, I don't think violence by inmates upon inmates would necessarily fall inline with the eighth amendment? Something should be done about violence in prisons among the inmate population, but that involves more guards, bars, walls, and tax dollars. Are people willing to foot the bill? My guess is they will take the out of sight out of mind approach and pray they never find themselves in a prison setting.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:12 PM
It is interesting that if you are accusing a person of rape in a prison you must be capable of providing proof, yet on the outside, if you are accusing some one of rape they must prove their innocence.

I wonder why that is? You would think that the law is the law.

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by jeichelberg

And you do realize that prisoners could consent to sex, have all the evidence they need, and then cry rape.

You're dealing with a population of people that have already proven that they disregard the laws of society.

Why would they be honest about sex and/or rape?

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by Jakes51

Putting an end to violence in prison would be very inexpensive and would not require more guards, bars, or walls...We have technology out the wazoo...the last place it is utilized is in prisons....because most people do not care what happens to a prisoner...

posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:22 PM
reply to post by Wildbob77

Stereotype much?

Consensual sex in a prison is a possibility, but those engaging in such acts are not the ones who come forward claiming rape...I know, having dealt with investigations of these incidents over a ten year period...

Furthermore, as in any act of rape, medical evidence can typically reveal the true nature of the act...

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