Wednesday, 9 November 2011


  • These portraits were taken by photographer James Stenson, to document the dignity and courage of survivors across the country who have refused to be silenced by the sexual abuse they endured while incarcerated.
  • Adam, Louisiana
  • Adam is an openly gay prisoner who was gang raped and sexually assaulted by detainees at the New Orleans Parish Prison over a period of two months in 2009. During those two months, Adam filed repeated emergency grievances and requested protective custody, but was denied. He agreed to have this testimony read at the Department of Justice's Review Panel on Prisoner Rape in 2011.
  • Anonymous, Texas
    This transgender woman housed in a men's prison in Texas has been repeatedly sexually abused, extorted, and forced into sexual slavery by prison gangs. Officers have denied her repeated requests to be transferred to protective custody housing.
  • Carlos, Rhode Island
    While he was in federal custody for non-violent drug charges, Carlos was sexually assaulted by inmates at two different facilities. As an openly gay man with a history of sexual abuse as a child, Carlos was at high risk for being targeted by predators..
  • Chris, Illinois
    Chris describes the emotional and mental devastation that continues to torment him, a result of being raped shortly after his arrival in prison 
  • Frank, California
    While in the custody of the Los Angeles County Jail, Frank suffered persistent harassment by corrections officers for being openly gay. After a particularly intense verbal attack, Frank was beaten and raped by an officer in the middle of the night. He was released a few days later, and filed formal complaints.
  • Ivory, Texas
    While working as a porter at a Texas state prison, Ivory was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a female corrections officer. He attempted to report the abuse, but was told that there was nothing that could be done since she was an officer and he was an inmate.
  • James, Texas
    An insulin dependent diabetic, James has been sexually assaulted by staff and inmates in state and federal prisons. Most recently, he was gang-raped in a Texas prison. He filed a report, but no investigation was conducted as James couldn't identify the perpetrators.
  • Jan, Michigan
    A power-obsessed prison worker abused Jan and many other inmates for years before he was caught. Years later, Jan and hundreds of female state prisoners settled a class action suit with Michigan for over $100 million after a jury found that prison officials for years ignored cases of rape, sexual advances, and groping by staff.
  • Kerry, Illinois
    After arriving at state prison, Kerry repeatedly requested placement in protective custody. Instead of guaranteeing his safety, officials ignored his pleas, allowing another inmate to rape and extort Kerry.
  • Kimberly, Kentucky
    After she was repeatedly raped by an officer in a federal detention center, Kimberly learned that the same man had assaulted a number of other women. The Bureau of Prisons had been notified about the officer’s behavior, but failed to do anything - until Kimberly spoke out and demanded justice.
  • Linda, Texas
    Linda’s 17-year old son, Rodney Hulin, killed himself after being continuously raped and abused in Texas prisons.
  • Micah, California
    Micah was raped and tortured by law enforcement officers in a police lock-up. He faced many challenges trying to report the abuse and was denied follow-up services, such as counseling and medical care. He has since been released from jail and is struggling to rebuild his life while facing the emotional scars of the abuse. 
  • Nicole, California
    Investigations went nowhere for Nicole, who was raped by two different staff members at a California prison. Instead, she was transferred and told to keep quiet - until she was later moved to a new facility where she is finally getting proper counseling and support.
  • Rachael, California
    Rachael is a transgender woman who was raped by her cellmate in a California state men's prison. After being denied counseling or any kind of assistance to help her cope with the assault, she formed a group with other transgender rape survivors who meet to support one another in their healing.
  • Rafael, New York
    After serving 23 years without incident, Rafael encountered a corrections officer who conducted abusive pat searches on inmates. Despite Rafael's effort to report the officer, nothing was done.
  • Scott, Colorado
    Despite Scott’s repeated complaints about sexual abuse, staff at a Colorado state prison did nothing to help him. While some officials blamed his sexual orientation for assaults, even those who were not hostile did not know what to do about his reports, Scott says, allowing the abuse to continue.

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