Prison rape and psychological sequelae: A call for research

Tess M.S. Neal, Carl B. Clements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prison rape is a pervasive and serious problem affecting many male inmates in U.S. prisons. We review the literature on prison rape prevalence, victimization risk factors, and the psychological and nonpsychological sequelae of prison rape. We address several areas of inquiry needed to guide research and facilitate solutions to the problem of prison rape, especially given the context and intent of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) passed in 2003 by the U.S. Congress. Mental health correlates remain to be studied; for example, the complex postrape symptoms of prison rape survivors do not appear to be captured by current diagnostic nomenclature. To date, psychology has been largely silent on the issue of prison rape but may have much to offer in terms of describing and treating the psychological impact of victimization, documenting the personal and situational risk and protective factors associated with prison rape, and in designing programs and policy to reduce prison rape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-299
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Male rape
  • PREA
  • PTSD
  • Prison rape
  • Sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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