Sex Crimes behind Prison Walls
Sex crimes refers to the exploitation of another individuals sexually, either of the same or different gender. Sex crimes have been rampant behind prison walls for decades. The impetus has been the lack of members of opposite sex in prisons. For example, the female prison is different from the male prison, hence some prisoners end up as retards contravening the sexual rights of other inmates for pleasure or to bruise their ego. Though measures such as visitation by family or wives of inmates have been put in place to mitigate such vile and inhumane acts, sexual crimes in prisons still continue with many victims crying out for justice while the rest keep quiet because these acts are more conspicuous in male prisons.
This research paper seeks to address the findings of a research entailing sex crimes behind prison walls. The aim of the paper is to criticize and analyze the outcome(s) of such findings in light of theSocratic approach and recommend a solution that can assist in wiping out the vile and cantankerous act. Fact being, human beings are supposed to be free to interact and the rights of each and every individual including their freedoms should be followed under due consideration of the law. This begs the question; of what use is the prisons and the laws if such policies and institutions cannot protect the rights of each and every inmate as well as ensuring that their sexual freedoms are not violated by other inmates.
There has been a rising incidence of cases of sexual rights violation in prisons the world over. In this regard, a research team aimed at investigating the reason(s) behind the increased incidence sexual crimes behind prison walls. A couple of questions ensure as a result of the problem in question. These questions are aimed at identifying the root cause of the problem and implementing the stated solutions in order to ensure justice prevail. Is there justice for those who undergo sexual rights violation in terms of sexual harassment behind bars? What is the root cause of sexual crimes in prisons? Is there a permanent solution to the sexual crimes that inmates undergo? Can the justice system come up with a workable solution towards assisting the populace as well as the sexual harassment victims get justice?
The correctional facilities are meant for character transformation. It is quite absurd that such justice systems meant to rectify the wrongs of an individual and bring them to sound reason. The law ought not be feared but adhered to. Not because of the consequences that come about as a result of violation of such regulations, but because it is the right thing to do and thus gives each and every individual the opportunity to exercise their rights, freedoms and justice.
Fear factor cannot permanently assist in the eradication of injustice and sexual offences, neither can brushing off of people as having different temperaments done the justice. Therefore, it means that the justice and legal systems have a loop hole that has not been fully exploited hence leading to individuals misconstruing the real intent of the law. This paper aims to critically analyze the reasons behind the sexual offences in prisons and bring up a new insight for looking at the legal systems.
Possible solution to the problem of sex crimes in prisons
Most convicted criminals have no fear of staying in the prisons, in fact, they view the prisons as their new homes. Such individuals commit sexual crimes and get away with it simply because they have been in the system long enough to know how to bend the rules in their favor or do it without the knowledge of the authorities. This can be stopped by introducing a system in the law and constitution that lays heavy penalties on a convict who sexually harasses a fellow inmate. This might be pushed to a fresh trial to increase the term of the prisoner. This would work towards fighting sexual violence in the prisons and give justice to the other convicts who are serving their sentence. Presumably, an illusion might come about of absolving the legal systems of the blame, but the law is responsible for each and every convict merely because the legal systems and the constitution positioned them in the prisons as a correctional facility.
Secondly, the jails can introduce more visitation hours for family and spouses of fellow people in the prisons. Most cases of sexual violence are done by people of the same sex, this is because the male prisons are positioned differently from the female prisons. The possibility of exercising conjugal rights of prisoners can serve in setting off the sexual tension and creating an environment where there is no sexual abuse. We have to place into perspective that inmates serve different sentences, others are in for tax evasion, murder, being in the country illegally, and others are convicted wrongfully. Therefore, the mere misconception of all inmates having a bad reputation is out of context and thus they deserve the right to be protected and defended in due consideration of the law.
Nevertheless, prisons can be classified according to the nature of crimes committed by the convicts. Those whose cases appear psychotic such as murder, rape among other cases that appear to devalue human existence can be imprisoned in a particular jail while the rest get to another. This would be effective in controlling the prisoners because those more prone to sexual violence can be pin pointed at a particular prison and monitored to ensure that they do not commit such heinous and inhumane atrocities.
Finally, counselling sessions can be included within the process of character transformation in the jail cells. These counselling sessions would be effective in letting known to the convicts that the main aim of the law is to ensure that they are transformed in character and ready to join the rest of the society in nation building. These sessions can also be instrumental in ensuring that those inmates who have been sexually abused come up and speak out the ill experiences that they have faced at the mercy of fellow individuals. The perpetrators can then be brought to justice.
Critics say on sexual offences in prisons
Most of the critics are of the opinion that all prisoners are bad and deserves what happens to them. They do pin the sexual offences problem on the prisoners and more at times claim that the responsibility of being off prisons is at the hands of the prisoners because it does not cost much. All that there is to be done is to abide by the laws and regulations as dictated in the constitution and ensure that the rights of every individual is adhered to. Failure to do so places them in prisons in which whatever happens to them is their responsibility to handle. Therefore, to critics, the sexual offences in the prisons is a punishment for the inmates.
To a greater degree these proclamations might be true. Just that the critics fail to understand the main reason why the law has been put in place. While critically analyzing the intention of the law, understanding the real case scenario of the sexual offences becomes very clear. An individual whether a prisoner or a free man, is bound by the constitution to act in accordance with the set laws and regulations. Though denied some freedoms, they remain as the citizens of the country under the responsibility of the government and the law. By these same laws of which some are denied while others offered, the government is inclined to protects and defend them as it does the rights of the free people.
Moreover, other individuals are of the opinion that all inmates have the ability to protect and defend themselves therefore, they need no extra protection. This is a way of portraying that the prisons are merely a survival – for – the – fittest institution in which the strongest survive while the weak are doomed. This is obstructing the real intention of the law. The jails and prisons are not a jungle but an institution set up to make an individual reflect on the wrongs that they have done and get back to the society.
However, some critics are of the opinion that the prisoners deserve to be protected from the heinous and inhumane act of sexual crimes and violence. They antagonize the way the justice system is set up and claim that the law should cut across to the rights of prisoners and ensure that they are protected from the various crimes that take place in the jail cells. For example, what actions and measures are put into perspective when a prisoner is found dead? Is such a case kept under the carpets simply because the prisoner was serving sentence or is the case taken seriously and investigated like that one of free man and justice served without fear nor favor?
Discussion of the implications of solution
A convict refers to an individual who has been admitted to a correctional facility like a prison, jail cell or a juvenile prison for the purpose of character transformation and in adherence to the law and constitution of a country, state or dynasty. This definition aptly puts the meaning of a prisoner in all respects. Each and every individual has his rights and freedoms stated within the constitution. Being a prisoner doesn’t deny an individual all his rights, privileges and freedoms(Mills, 2012).
A prisoner is a human like any other, but in for a sentence after which the individual gets back to the society. His rights as a human being and citizen of respective country still apply and violation to any of such rights should be subject to the law and the interpretation of the constitution. Sexual harassment and other forms of retardation is in violation of human rights and ought to be punished. The mushrooming of all kinds of polarities in prisons such as homosexuality and lesbianism are uncalled for. They appear as cultic and demonic whether permitted in a constitution or not, they all antagonize the purpose of creating the male and female.
Moreover, a prisoner introduced to such acts is tortured, equally gruesome is the fact that these sexual offenders go ahead and perform “Sodom acts” which are criticized biblically, and in the Quran. Although it is the jurisdiction of the Almighty to judge who is fit and that who is not, these acts defy nature as well as the rights and freedoms of each and every individual.
Heavy penalty on an inmate who sexually violates the rights of a fellow prisoner
This would be a smart move towards eradicating sexual offences in prisons. Penalties strip off prisoners from enjoying more freedoms hence many of the convicts would be willing to abide by laws and regulations so as to avoid further withdrawal of privileges. Human beings are reasonable, in that one can weigh an action and consequence. Everyone has some value attached to certain thing, the secret is to identify that freedom or right and strike a bargain in light of actions performed(Davison & Taylor, 2001). This is a system that can be included in the law in order to enable the convicts follow the rule of law and desist from violating the rights of each and every individual in the correctional facility.
The penalties that might be effective in exercising caution in sexual offences would be those such as increasing the jail time, placing a single individual to the cell alone, increasing working hours and denial of visitation hours. Moreover, for a case more vile as sexual harassment, a new case might be opened up in court to bring justice to the individual who has been sexually offended and grant him/ her a chance to be heard out.
Increasing frequency and visitation hours for spouses of convicts
Conjugal rights are of each and every individual. Barring such rights brings about sexual offences. The bible thus says, “A man shall leave his father mother and become one with the wife.” Increasing the visitation hours for spouses of inmates not only helps the prisoners gain the attention and love that every human being requires but also, reduce the sexual tension created when there lacks members of the opposite sex. No man is an island, every individual has to exist with the help of the other. Therefore, a man needs a woman. The visitation hours for convicts improves their esteem and releases monotony of seeing the same person day in and out.
Classification of prisons according to the nature of the offences
This technique would classify offenses in terms of magnitude and impact of the offences done in a human perspective. However, the law is not meant to discriminate, any person who does whichever crime which is unconstitutional with respect to the law is treated as an offender and deserves no preferential treatment in light of the laws of the land. Therefore, this classification would prove to be discriminatory and would paint some crimes as more enormous that others(JANES, 2011). This would taint the image of the law because the main aim of the law is to promote fairness and justice in the society. The Socratic Method advocates for peace, fairness and justice. Sexual offences for inmates is both illegal and inhumane.
Introducing counsellors in the rehabilitation system
Counselling is mainly assisting an individual to obtain a solution to a scenario that is already within the person. There is nothing new that a counsellor does to a person, other than invoking the thoughts of the individual and enabling the person derive possible solutions to an occurrence and implement such an idea. The counselling sessions are important because they encourage openness and letting go. The counsellors would be instrumental in ensuring that the inmates obtain the justice that they so wish. This is because those involved in sexual harassment of all sorts would openly pop out and reveal their plight to the counsellor and justice would be sort for them.
In conclusion, the sexual offences that exist in the prisons are inhumane. There has to be measures that can be expedited in the justice system to outdo the injustice in these systems. Human beings, whether free or convicted, are still bound by the same laws and regulations. Whether an individuals’ freedoms are denied does not mean that such an individuals’ rights ought to be contravened. The sexual offences in prisons can be best kept at bay through tightening the rules and laws on sexual offences in prisons, increasing visiting hours as well as the frequency of visits in hospitals. Moreover, a counsellor should be included in the rehabilitation process to aid in openness with the convicts and bring justice to those who are sexually exploited.
Davison, S. & Taylor, P. (2001). Psychological distress and severity of personality disorder symptomatology in prisoners convicted of violent and sexual offences. Psychology, Crime & Law, 7(1-4), 263-273. doi:10.1080/10683160108401797
JANES, L. (2011). Children Convicted of Sexual Offences: Do Lifelong Labels Really Help?.The Howard Journal Of Criminal Justice, 50(2), 137-152. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2311.2010.00648.x
Mills, H. (2012). A life sentence really? The resettlement of ex-prisoners with convictions for sexual offences. Criminal Justice Matters, 87(1), 50-51. doi:10.1080/09627251.2012.671027