Impunity: Sexual Abuse in Women’s Prisons

Source: Kim Shayo Buchanan, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 42, 2007

The negative impact of “gendered racialization of women prisoners” on their treatment in prison, in particular, the “legal and institutional indifference” practiced in situations involving sexual abuse by prison staff is examined. This article is comprised of these sections: custodial sexual abuse in women’s prisons; the structure of status hierarchy; impunity or the remedial brick wall — the prison grievance procedure, barriers to accountability due to civil impunity, and constitutional deference and deliberate indifference; and conclusion.

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