Prison and jail inmates with mental health problems reported higher rates of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization than did other inmates, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. An estimated 6.3 percent of prison inmates and 3.6 percent of jail inmates with serious psychological distress reported inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization, compared with 0.7 percent for both prison and jail inmates without a mental health problem.
The new study provides findings for the first time on sexual victimization of inmates with mental problems and on juveniles (ages 16 to 17) held in adult facilities. Nationwide, 2.0 percent of prison inmates and 1.6 percent of jail inmates reported at least one incident involving another inmate; 2.4 percent of prison inmates and 1.8 percent of jail inmates reported having had sex or sexual contact with facility staff. An estimated 80,600 adult inmates—57,900 in prisons and 22,700 in jails—reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff during 2011-12.