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Sex abuse rampant at youth prisons around the country

Will we see an outcry from the professional “Christian” set, the Dobsons, Perkins, and all the rest about this story of heinous abuse in Mississippi? Don’t hold your breath.  They are too busy panicking over the Brown Menace and the Homosexual Agenda. Between the Taser misuse and abuse and the treatment detailed in this story, there are much bigger fish to fry. (CNN):

Represented by attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Erica and nine other girls housed at Columbia are suing the state, claiming they endured a range of sexual and physical abuse, including shackling. Don Desper, a licensed therapist and former employee at Columbia who opposed the practice, told CNN it was used to prevent the teens from escaping.

In a handwritten affidavit, a 15-year-old girl described a male guard molesting her. She wrote: “He came inside my cell half way half of his body and he started touching me and he tryed (sic) to kiss me and then he left he came back with my snack in his hand and he opened my cell again and he started grabbing me around my waist and he tryed (sic) to stick his hands in my pants and I started crying.”

When the lawsuit was filed in 2007, a U.S. Justice Department monitor was making periodic inspections at Columbia as part of a 2005 settlement with Mississippi in a previous case. The Justice investigation that led to that settlement found Columbia youths were hog-tied, forced to strip and eat their own vomit and were held in isolation in what was called the “Dark Room,” a windowless room with a hole in the floor used as a toilet. Read the Justice Department report that describes girls being shackled to poles

In Ohio, things aren’t any better. Read below the fold.

In Ohio, a dozen employees at the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility have been indicted since 2003 on charges relating to physical and sexual abuse of youth, according to a May 2007 Justice report. Five were convicted of various charges, including sexual battery and assault; six cases were dismissed and a jury found one employee not guilty.

In January, a state-hired consultant blamed a “culture of violence” in Ohio’s juvenile jails for numerous abuses. The expert’s report details examples of “egregious use of force” by guards and included a video he viewed of a 2007 incident in which a “frail” boy who was threatening to harm himself was restrained by guards.

The boy was wrestled to the ground, cuffed and stripped, with one guard seen putting his full body weight on the boy’s back while driving his knee into the boy’s neck.

A so-called “Suicide Smock” was placed “over his airways,” the report said. “The youth actually screams that he can’t breathe.”

…”Girls are sexually abused in these institutions more often than the public would believe,” said Paul DeMuro, a delinquency expert who in 2002 inspected Columbia for the Justice Department and is now a consultant for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nationwide, the Justice Department has said 2,821 allegations of sex abuse were made in 2004, the most recent data on the topic available.

If you read the rest of this piece your jaw will be on the floor at the description of the circumstances in detention facilities in Texas and Florida.

What is going on in law enforcement and in these departments of correction? Is the problem training, lack of better screening of employees for sadistic tendencies — how can this epidemic of violence and inhumane treatment be stopped?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding