It's a subject most of us would rather not think about. We see it depicted in movies and on cable television shows like "Oz," but few of us can ever imagine it happening to our loved ones or ourselves. Linda Bruntmyer wasn't so lucky. Bruntmyer's then-16-year-old son, Rodney Hulin, was brutally raped while serving a prison sentence for setting a dumpster on fire. But their horror didn't end there.
"Rodney was a small guy, only 5'2" and about 125 pounds. And, as a first-time offender, we knew he might be targeted by older, tougher, adult inmates," Bruntmyer told the audience gathered in the Cannon House Office Building. "Then, our worst nightmares came true," she said. Rodney was brutally assaulted and raped. "But that was only the beginning. Rodney knew if he went back into the general population, he would be in danger. He wrote to the authorities requesting to be moved to a safer place. He went through all the proper channels, but he was denied."
Bruntmyer described her own efforts to rescue her son from the torture he was now enduring on a regular basis. When she called the warden to plead for her son, he told her Rodney needed to grow up. "This happens every day; learn to deal with it. It's no big deal," this callous official instructed the distraught mother.
Desperate, Rodney started violating prison rules in order to be segregated from the regular prison population. Finally, he was put in segregation and allowed one 10-minute phone call home in which he tearfully told his mother that he was "emotionally and mentally destroyed."
"That was the last time I heard his voice," Bruntmyer said. "On the night of Jan. 26, 1996, my son hanged himself in his cell. He was 17 and afraid, and ashamed and hopeless. He laid in a coma for the next four months before he died."
RAPE IN PRISON
by Scott L. Anderson
Prison rape. I can guarantee you that those two words are the first thing that popped into your head when you heard you were on the way to the slammer. There is no way to sugarcoat this issue. You may be raped when you go to prison. I am not trying to scare you. It is a serious, real issue. Here are some facts:
It is estimated that there are over 300,000 instances of prison rape a year.
196,000 are estimated to happen to men in prison
123,000 are estimated to happen to men in county jail.
40,000 are estimated to be committed against boys in either adult prisons or while in juvenile facilities or lock ups.
5000 women are estimated to be raped in prison.
Remember that these are all estimates. Most rapes are not reported.
Sexual attacks in prison are considered rape when penetration occurs. It is estimated that inmates are approached with unwanted sexual advances over 80,000 times per day in the United States alone.
Keep in mind that many experts consider county and local jails to be more likely places for rapes than prisons. There is a reason for this. You are more likely to be raped while in prison if:
You are young.
You come from a middle-class background.
You are white.
You are not street smart or have no gang affiliations.
Physically you are of small stature.
By the time repeat or career criminals get to prison they have normally made the circuit through foster homes, juvenile lockups and reform schools where rape is very common. So by the time they actually make it to the big time they are well schooled in this fact of prison life and quite often they are the attackers not the attackees.
This guide is for the person who has never done any kind of time. Do not think that rape will only happen in prison. If you have to go to county jail prior to your trial and while awaiting transfer to prison, a sexual attack is very likely to occur there. This can all depend on the area you live in. If you are in a rural area with a small jail, of course the chances will drop. But if you are in a metro area, Los Angeles County, New York’s Rikers Island, Miami’s Dade, and Chicago’s Cook being among the worst, your chances of being raped are going to skyrocket.
Especially, and this is not a racist statement, if you are white. Consider that of the total number of estimated prison rapes:
13% involved white inmates raping white inmates
29% involved black inmates raping black inmates.
56% involved black inmates raping white inmates.
This comes to a grand total of 85% of prison rapes being committed by blacks, with 69% of the victims being white. The rapes of white inmates are normally done by gangs of blacks and somewhat in the open so that other inmates, but not staff, can witness the attacks. The blacks involved are generally in the joint for crimes such as armed robbery or severe assault cases.
One of the reasons for this situation is that whites lack solidarity while in prison and unlike the population on the outside, are the minority on the inside.
Scenario #1. A white middle-class man, let’s say a car dealer, is picked up for sale of cocaine, and is locked into a communal cell with four black inmates, all whom have done substantial amounts of time in prison. The white man is of small stature and has no street smarts. The chances of him being raped:. Damn near 100%.
Scenario #2. Same situation only this time the white is a solid member of a biker gang that has ties to inside the prison walls. He himself has been in several times. Chances of rape in this situation: Practically zero. The black inmates are smart enough to know that they may be able to out muscle this man and rape him, but the long-term ramifications are not worth it. Without even talking to this man, the blacks’ years of experience in prison will give them the sense to leave him alone.
While I was an officer in Moose Lake/Willow River (Minnesota) prison I worked a unit that held two Native Americans, one black, one Asian, a younger white inmate, and an older seasoned inmate. When it finally came to the attention of the staff, it turned out that the young white inmate had been raped repeatedly over several months by the black and Indian inmates, but not by the Asian or the older inmate. It also turned out that no advances had ever been made toward either of those two. Note that the seasoned inmate did not join in on the rapes, but never tried to stop it either. That is just the way things are in prison. There is no brotherhood of man when you walk inside those gates.
There is a class system of three groups in prison involving prison sex.
Group #1: The predators. They are known as jockers, studs, wolves, and pitchers. These inmates will sniff out new victims and will almost always attack in groups. Of the three groups these are the inmates who consider themselves “men.” “Men” in prison have not ever been penetrated or raped; if this is done to them, they immediately lose this status. They never consider themselves homosexuals but some probably are and for their safety will never admit it, just as some of these men have been victims of sexual assault and will never admit it. A number of these inmates also don’t have much of a taste for rape, but do it to protect their own status so they themselves could be turned on.
Group #2: The jailhouse queens. These inmates actively carry on a female-like existence and will dress as femininely as they can within the regulations of the prison. There is a lower percentage of these inmates in prison and thus are cherished by the jockers. They are referred to in female terms and are called “her” or “she” by both prisoners and staff alike. Quite often these inmates will have somewhat of a permanent relationship with one of the stronger, established wolves, even though it is not uncommon for the wolf to lend his gal out to his buddies to pay off a debt or for some other reason. Other names used for queens are bitches, ladies, and whores. They will often refer to their assholes as “pussies.” I once had a queen tell me that she fucked like a woman, but fought like a man.
Group #3. The punks. Also called fuck boys. These inmates are the younger, weaker, normally white inmates who have been “turned out” by the stronger inmates. They are normally assaulted within days of arrival and these attacks will keep up until they either get protection, are locked up in protective custody, or turn queen themselves. The queens normally look down on punks with disdain. Punks are down on the same prison level as child molesters. Often they are sold to other gangs. They have an extremely high suicide rate.
Suicide rates in prison are estimated to be 15.4 per 100,000 inmates in all the states averaged out, with the exception of California, which has an astronomical 179 per 100,000. Penologists believe that the number one cause of suicide in prison is rape, with AIDS and depression from being in prison being the two runner up reasons.
AIDS/HIV is six times the national average in prison. When inmates rape, they don’t wear condoms.
You can always spot a punk in prison. Often they shuffle around like mental patients and will have extremely poor hygiene in an attempt to stave off future attacks. Rarely will they alert staff to what is going on. I approached several of these inmates while I was an officer to offer them help and they never accepted.
How do first time inmates defend against rape? They will either pay for protection, join a gang, or they can be “sponsored” by a relative or friends before they even get there. But I have seen fish (rookie) inmates so big and fucking tough that no inmate even wanted to think about taking them on.
If it happens, it will most likely happen in a dorm or shower area. But anyplace will do if it is out of sight of the officers. My advice to you if you are not protected in some way and you are attacked is to FIGHT back as hard and as loud as you can. AIDS is a death sentence, so that’s the biggest reason. The second reason is once you are raped you are considered in prison circles to have lost your manhood. If you find out you are being singled out and do not have protection, I would also consider striking first against one of the main wolves, although return violence is sure to occur. The problem with this is that you are going to wind up in the hole with maybe some time added to your sentence and things may not have changed when you are released out of segregation.
If you are cornered and things aren’t going your way, some people think that a way to avoid being raped is to tell your attackers that you are HIV positive and have AIDS. This may work as a quick fix but it more than likely will also result in you being severely beaten if not killed. AIDS in prison is a very sensitive issue with both officers and inmates. Security staff aren’t even told who has AIDS, due to privacy rights issues.
Do Not Be Passive. Stand Your Ground.
If you are young, small, and white, your chances of being attacked are higher. If you are getting middle-aged, the chances will drop. Don’t even drop your guard though.
In a minimum facility there is a much smaller chance of rape as inmates don’t want to screw up chances of their release. In maximum joints, the chance is much higher because inmates have longer sentences and less to lose. In medium facilities always remember that a good share of your fellow inmates are former maximum inmates so the chance of rape is always there with them. County jails have a very high number of rapes reported.
Many officers that you are going to come in contact with think that most inmates are homosexuals and they deserve what is coming to them and they will often turn their backs when they feel a rape is being committed. Officers have been known to allow a rape to go on if they are working in a high-risk facility and think that doing so will help keep the stronger inmates in line. I can tell you for a fact that the number one worry of all corrections staff is that if there is a riot, they are going to get fucked in the ass, the men that is; the woman really have something to worry about.
An officer that I know who was working in the Atlanta federal penitentiary in 1987 during the Cuban riot there, told me that every hostage taken in that riot had been raped.
After you’ve been locked up for a while you are going to get horny. My advice to you is to masturbate. Alone.
If you decide to get your rocks off and pay some queen to let you screw her, you will not have protection. Remember the AIDS factor. Is it worth it? Even if you decide to just get a blowjob from one of them, you risk the chance of making her “Daddy” jealous and that can open another can of worms.
Soft-core porn magazines are available in most prisons. Check out the chicks, use your imagination, and jack off in your sock.
You are trying to survive the joint. Not live in it.
Scott L. Anderson is a former prison guard.
Click to view image: 'Rodney Hulin'
Click to view image: 'Rodney Hulin AIDS test request'
Click to view image: 'Rodney Hulin last letter home'
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