When juveniles (or adults) are sent to jails and prisons, sexual abuse should not be a consequence of their sentences. However, for too many inmates that is not the case. Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities is the subject of a report by the U.S. government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Highlights from the report, Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012/, include;
An estimated 9.5% of adjudicated youth in state juvenile facilities and state contract facilities (representing 1,720 youth nationwide) reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months.
About 2.5% of youth (450 nationwide) reported an incident involving another youth, and 7.7% (1,390) reported an incident involving facility staff.
An estimated 3.5% of youth reported having sex or other sexual contact with facility staff as a result of force or other forms of coercion, while 4.7% of youth reported sexual contact with staff without any force, threat, or explicit form of coercion.
Thirteen facilities were identified as high-rate based on the prevalence of sexual victimization by youth or staff. Rates in each of these facilities had a 95%-confidence interval with a lower bound that was at least 35% higher than the average rate of sexual victimization among facilities nationwide.
About 67.7% of youth victimized by another youth reported experiencing physical force or threat of force, 25.2% were offered favors or protection, and 18.1% were given drugs or alcohol to engage in sexual contact. Click here to go to website.
Now, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) announced Georgia is closing down the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center (PRYDC) in Dallas, Georgia which is run by a private company, Youth Services International (YSI). Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012 claims that one in three juvenile inmates at PRYDC reported being sexually victimized by staff over the last 12 months. Ironically, the YSI motto is “Preparing Troubled Youth for the Future.”
While PRYDC, with the highest number of juvenile sexual victimization complaints in the nation will be closed, the reason is economical, not because juveniles were being sexually victimized. The juveniles will be sent to other facilities in Georgia. Hopefully they will not be transferred to Eastman Youth Development Campus, Augusta Youth Development Campus, or Sumter Youth. Development Campus, which along with PRYDC are ranked in the top 13 juvenile facilities with the highest rates of sexual victimization in the nation.