Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-03-99

Amnesty International to Report Abuse of Female Inmates

Amnesty International has uncovered widespread evidence that female inmates in U.S. prisons are subjected to a "double sentence" of rape, unwanted groping and fondling, and other inhumane treatment meted out by prison guards. Michel Forst, who heads Amnesty International in France, said that female inmates are punished both through their court-ordered sentences and "specific humiliation because they are women."

In a report to be issued tomorrow, a New York prisoner was quoted as saying that officers had forced her to perform oral sex on them. Other female prisoners in Arizona told Amnesty International that prison guards had subjected them to "frequent, prolonged, close-up and prurient viewing during dressing, showering and use of toilet facilities."

The report also alleged racial discrimination in imprisonment, noting that the percentage of black and Hispanic women in prisons is wildly distorted compared to their makeup in the general U.S. population. "The rate of imprisonment of black women is more than eight times the rate of imprisonment of white women; the rate of imprisonment of Hispanic women is nearly four times the rate of imprisonment of white women," the report read.

Amnesty International furthers alleges that pregnant women are subjected to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" both during and after labor. Prison inmates are shackled at the arms and legs while they give birth. The report cites Dr. Patricia Garcia of Northwestern University as saying "Having the woman in shackles compromises the ability to manipulate her legs into the proper position for the necessary treatment," noted that incapacitating the women is dangerous for both mothers and newborns. After grueling labor, women prisoners are then subjected to further suffering. The report noted, "In at least 40 states, babies are taken from their imprisoned mothers almost immediately after birth or at the time the mother is discharged from hospital."

Media Resources: AFP - March 3, 1999


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
 
2/27/2015 Houston Is Finally Testing a Backlog of Thirty-Year-Old Rape Kits - The city of Houston, Texas has finally begun testing decades-old rape kits - and in just one week, those have led to hundreds of leads. Houston is one of the first of the major cities nation-wide to clear their backlog of over 6,000 untested rape kit s- some of which were more than thirty years old. . . .
 
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA). The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .