Nearly one in 10 youths in American juvenile facilities reported experiencing at least one incident of sexual victimization in a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) last year.
The survey, which was released today and is mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, was conducted between February and September 2012.
The overall rate of sexual victimization in juvenile facilities is estimated to have dropped from about 12.6 reported in a 2008-2009 survey to 9.9 percent in 2012.
About 7.7 percent of respondents reported at least one incident involving staff; 2.5 percent reported incidents involving other youth.
“About 3.5 percent of youth (630) reported having sex or sexual contact with staff as a result of force, and 4.7 percent of youth (850) reported sexual contact with staff without any force, threat or other explicit form of coercion,” according to BJS.
Youths who identified their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or other were nearly ten times more likely to be victimized by other youths; a rate of 10.3 percent compared to 1.5 percent.
Among those who reported staff sexual misconduct, nearly two-thirds indicated that the staffers had established personal relationships with them. About 7 in 10 said staffers “told them about their personal life;” two-thirds were treated “as a favorite” or were given “a special gift.”
“Nearly half (49 percent) said the staff member gave them pictures of themselves or wrote them letters,” according to BJS.
Read the report HERE.