CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A Justice Department survey of 146 federal and state penitentiaries across the nation shows 60,500 inmates were subject to sexual victimization behind bars this year. That breaks down to 4.5% of all who are locked up, according to an estimate by the agency's bureau of justice statistics. The national survey included three Ohio prisons -- Belmont Correctional Institution, Grafton Correctional Institution and North Central Correctional Institution. All three hold male convicts.
At Belmont, the government reports 3.6% of inmates were sexually victimized by other prisoners or staff. At North Central, it was 3.8%. Grafton exceeded the national average at 4.8%.
Two Texas prisons had the nation's worst numbers, with one reporting a 15.7% rate. The Justice Department said the data was the best it could get but warned of inaccuracies.
"Survey responses represent inmate allegations. Despite efforts to reassure inmates that their reports would be kept confidential, some inmates may not have felt confident in reporting their experiences. AT the same time, some inmates may have made false allegations."
Federal officials are required to collect the data under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. The government surveyed 23,398 inmates who make the reports during "a personal interview and based on activity since admission to the facility or in the 12 months prior to the interview."
This link leads to the full text of the Justice Department's annual report. Six prisons surveyed reported no incidents.