The Crisis of Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Detention Centers

“Inmates are still people, and therefore need to be treated as such, with all the challenges and potential that face all human persons,” says Acton research fellow Jordan Ballor. “One of the things it means to treat someone with the dignity they deserve as a human being is to not subject them to conditions where the threat of rape is rampant.” Earlier this year, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported on one of the most overlooked threats to prisoner dignity — sexual victimization by correctional authorities. Continue Reading...

Between Smirks and Silence: Ending the Epidemic of Prison Rape

“Prison rape occupies a fairly odd space in our culture,” wrote Ezra Klein in 2008, bringing to the fore a subject that is still too often ignored. “It is, all at once, a cherished source of humor, a tacitly accepted form of punishment, and a broadly understood human rights abuse.” We are justifiably outraged by the human rights abuses occurring in foreign lands. Continue Reading...

How Debit Cards Can Fight Street Crime

When bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he is (mis)quoted as having said, “Because that’s where the money is.” Turns out that is also why there is more street crime in poorer neighborhoods: because that’s where the cash is. Continue Reading...

Humor and Prison Rape Culture

Yesterday I noted some items related to the question of punishment and restorative justice in the American criminal justice system. And in the past we’ve looked here at the PowerBlog of the issues surrounding political and social activism on prison rape. Continue Reading...

Dehumanization and Punishment

Two of the things I’ve paid some attention to, one more recently and the other as an ongoing area of interest, came together in an Instapundit update yesterday. Glenn Reynolds linked to a video of a NYC cop who “threatens a man taking cell phone video with arrest.” This picks up the attention given here and here to the question of law enforcement and ‘citizen photojournalism.’ But what really struck me about this story was the threat attributed to the (apparent) cop, who said, “Guys in jail are going to rape you.” This is beyond the pale in myriad ways. Continue Reading...