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9 J. Offender Counseling, Services & Rehab. xi (1984-1985)

handle is hein.journals/wjor9 and id is 1 raw text is: 


  The perverse money economy in prison leads to inexpressible
sexual perversity. The youngest, poorest inmates are frequently vic-
tims of rape. For money, prisoners allow themselves to become
male prostitutes as they allow themselves to act as guinea pigs for
drug-company experiments. Some inmates who are raped literally
lose their minds, others attempt suicide. Some inflict wounds on
themselves in order to be transferred to a hospital where there is less
chance that they will have to be coerced into some new sexual hu-
miliation. This is all done with the knowledge of prison personnel;
many are paid for their complicity. The origin of the sexual abera-
tions that pervade all our prisons for the very young as well as for
adults is to be found in the organization of our prisons.
   Prisoners are denied opportunities for sexual expression because
of the nature of confinement rather than because a judge decrees that
a sentenced person shall be subject to sexual denial and deprivation.
No state or federal law has ever been passed requiring that as a con-
dition of prison confinement a person shall be denied the right of
sexual expression. If such a law were ever passed or a judge ever to
deliver such a sentence, the action would be quickly declared uncon-
stitutional. But such laws don't have to be proposed or considered
by legislatures because sexual denial takes place automatically along
with the many other deprivations that are not specified under law.
  Criminally violent homosexuality is widespread in prisons and
condoned by officialdom because it constitutes still another area of
behavior for arbitrary control and exploitation by the establishment.
Those who commit forced attacks bribe their keepers to overlook
the rules; the victims must bribe their keepers for protection and
possible reassignment of cells. If consensual homosexuality among
prisoners were legal, the prison establishment would find ways to
circumvent the law since voluntary consent about anything in prison
is intolerable to the mind of the establishment. In 1971 the Canadian
government enacted a law which permits acts of homosexuality

   This article is adapted from  the author's The Open Prison, NY: The Dial Press, 1973:
and appears with the permission of the author.

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