Essay: Sexual Misconduct in Female Prisons
Being under custody means that one is under constant surveillance. Therefore, the environment is usually a custodial one with prison officials having to stay around and even at times interact with inmates. Women prisons have made tremendous improvement from the traditional form where even women would be guarded by male warders. However, Covington (2001, p. 103) is of the opinion that the problem may be far from over because some to management of these facilities might be males. This poses a greater danger to inmates, the reason being that they are females. Incidence of rape and other sexual abuses are mostly reported from such correctional facilities.
Far-reaching management abuses have been left to continue unabated by the standard operating procedures in the criminal justice system. Actions such as strip-searches after visitations in women prisons happen to have more detrimental effects in women than men. This is because the actions are very sensitive to women who happen to have undergone any form of physical abuse in the past because they only retrigger traumatizing episodes suffered earlier. A study in Michigan California, New York, Illinois, and Georgia in 2009 showed that sexual misconduct is common in many female prisons where male officers tend to solicit sexual favors from prisoners making the prison environment more hostile and very much sexualized (Covington, 2001, p. 103). Therefore, correctional facilities across the country call for gender-based solutions that should be able to solve such problems especially in the US where ex-offenders have describe their experience in prisons as terrifying.