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Examining MRA’s Prison-Rape Factoid

Discuss rape anywhere within the Google Alert of most self-proclaimed men’s rights activists, and you’re likely to hear something like, “All they talk about is rape of women, but the rate of prison rape means more men are raped than women every year!” What you will not see is numbers or a link to comparative statistics.

The original claim (seen here in an old Wikipedia edit) comes from a 2001 report from Human Rights Watch that took rates found in two localized studies and extrapolated them to the U.S. as a whole. Although much more representative surveys have become available since then, you won’t see those quoted. There’s a reason for that.

It’s not all that hard to find current statistics on sexual assault in U.S. jails and prisons. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 requires that the Bureau of Justice Statistics to track this information and issue public reports. Thus, we can find separate reports for jails and prisons for 2007 and a combined report for 2008-2009.

These are not statistics for reported assaults, which may reflect a gender bias due to the stigma of reporting, but the National Inmate Survey, administered in a format designed to make subjects feel as comfortable as possible answering in the affirmative. It is closest in design to the National Crime Victimization Survey, but with additional care taken to minimize the effects of illiteracy. For comparison, then, the NCVS reports are used.

One note: Combined rates of rape and sexual assault are used in this comparison. While the NIS provides data to distinguish the two for inmate-on-inmate assault (with penetrative rape and other coerced sexual acts being just over 50% of the assaults), it doesn’t do the same for staff-on-inmate assault. Nor does the NCVS differentiate. Beyond that, the only federal standard for classifying rape currently excludes males by definition. So we’ll look at sexual assault as a whole.

In both 2007 and 2008-9, the NIS tells us that 70,000 to 80,000 prisoners were sexually assaulted in jails and prisons each year. That is a lot. Even excluding female prisoners, who experience a higher rate of assault but a much lower rate of incarceration, we are left with 66,000 sexual assaults on male prisoners in 2007 and 72,000 in the 2008-9 survey period.

According to the NCVS, women experienced 202,000 sexual assaults in 2007 and 193,000 in 2008. That would be about three times the rate of prison assaults.

If you combine the NCVS and NIS data, for men and for women, you get a chart that looks like this:

Rape Incidence, Including Prison Rapes

It is possible that some of the assaults are counted both in the NIS and NCVS data sets, but it’s not likely to make much difference. Former prisoners are likely to be undersampled in the NCVS, given the effect they have on rates of sexual assault. Beyond that, the relative rates of incarceration mean that the few former female prisoners are less likely to be appropriately sampled, and I’d prefer to give the advantage to the MRAs here, to make this as fair to their claims as possible.

After all, even assuming that all of these prison assaults were rape, the original statement still wouldn’t hold up. The Uniform Crime Reports, data sets from the FBI that include only reported crimes, show 80,800 forcible rapes in 2007 and 78,833 in 2008, all of which occurred, by definition, in women.

None of this, of course, is to say that rape and sexual assault in prisons and jails are not a serious issue. They are. In fact, they’re far too important to be used as political footballs by people who just want women to stop talking about rape.

Note: See comments and this post for discussion of a further adjustment to the 2008 BJS prison data from another report. TL;DR version: No there still aren’t more rapes in men.

Comments

  1. says

    Cue an MRA to post “but what about prison rape?”, at which point you’ll be able to tell they use Google Alerts and don’t actually read the posts they comment on.

  2. says

    Even granting the dubious factoid, men pretty much only need to worry about rape in prison while women have to account for it everywhere. And this reinforces the MRA point of view… how?

  3. says

    I am honestly not sure why people want to insist on talking about something peripherally related to the topic you happen to be discussing. Yeah, sure – there is a problem and a big one at that. And in the context of some discussions about rape prison rape and male rape in general is relevant. But that is obviously not always the case – yet apparently it must always be part of the conversation.

    Screw that bullshit.

  4. says

    The theory of Rape Culture was born of discussions with men in prison about rape in prison and how that culture of rape in prison reflects the larger culture. Just FYI type stuff.

    http://feministwhore.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/the-origin-of-the-term-rape-culture/

    “When we made the film “Rape Culture” we highlighted the actions of an organization founded in 1974, called Men Against Rape in Lorton Prison in the Washington DC area. At the time people often misinterpreted what these, primarily African American men were saying. They were talking about rape inside the prison(raping men) and out(raping women) and pointing out the similarities. It appeared that they were defining themselves as rapists but they were trying to define rape as a power relationship that took a sexual form. Only one of the 13 members of the group was actually in prison for rape. Their work, in collaboration with members of the DC Rape Crisis Center was groundbreaking.”

  5. BinJabreel says

    And let’s not forget the fact that the only people I’ve ever encountered who talked seriously about the fact that our culture basically uses the threat of being raped in prison as part of our justice system were strident feminists.

  6. says

    DuWayne @3: I’m guessing it’s not because these people are seriously interested in fixing the problem of prison rape, so much as derailing any conversations that aren’t talking only about the problem to the exclusion of women’s concerns.

  7. says

    To clarify: I’m talking about people who claim to be men’s rights activists but are, in actuality, howler monkeys and male supremacists. I’d suggest that DuWayne is a real MRA (in a “take back the slur” sort of way).

  8. AsqJames says

    The same MRA who will make the male prison rape comparison at the drop of a hat, will typically also argue that women who wear anything slightly more revealing than a burka are to some degree responsible if they get raped.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a feminist or anti-rape campaigner make the comparable (and equally nauseatingly offensive) suggestion that those raped in prison are in some way responsible “because criminals knowingly take that risk”.

  9. says

    Those who insist on that argument don’t care about male rape victims either.
    They think the whole discussion is a giant pissing contest where the sex with the most rape victims wins (women lie about rape, men don’t)

    AsqJames
    To be honest, there are some assholes out there talking about “just desserts”.

  10. Blue Duck says

    If these MRA yahoos really and truly cared about the problem of men raped in prison, they would become active prisoner’s rights activists. Funny, they don’t seem to be doing that. Which is a shame – I would be on their side if they were working on reducing the risk of rape and other violence in prisons (as well as getting behind good programs for prisoners – more access to to counselling, education, etc, so they have much better odds building a good life for themselves if/when they are released from prison).

  11. Brian M says

    Of course…and this is off topic and well known here…the best way to reduce rape in prison is to reduce drastically the number of prisoners. Legalize many of our Schedule I drugs!

  12. Graham Martin-Royle says

    I’m not sure what the point of this is, rape of anyone should be condemned and shouldn’t become a factor in a discussion about atheism, religion, feminism. The number of rapes, the type of rapes, where those rapes occurred should be irrelevant. I guess what I’m trying to say is that these type of discussions shouldn’t be derailed by talking about rape, that should be a totally separate discussion.

  13. maureen.brian says

    You mean, Graham Martin-Royle, that you – you personally – don’t want to talk about rape. Fair enough, then don’t talk about it.

    This OP, though, was about the abuse of statistics and the invention of factoids which interferes with any discussion of rape by those who do want to discuss it. Why don’t you find out what we’re talking about before you tell us we are “doing it wrong.”

    You need only have been sentient for the past six months to have discovered that the noble world of atheism contains both rape apologists and some who have given the matter no thought at all, though they still expect to be heard.

    Then, an intelligent discussion of the subject must at some stage address the role of religions in promoting both disproportionate punishments and the subjection of women.

    And believe me, dear, you only have to be a feminist for about 15 seconds before you find your path blocked by some super-hero spouting “facts” which have no basis in reality. No matter if you are a professor of criminology – which I am not – who has written the key texts on the subject, he will still expect to heard ahead of you just because he is a man!

    That last is an interesting enough phenomenon to be discussed from time to time. Fear not, though, your blankie will protect you.

  14. says

    Graham Martin-Royle

    I’m not sure what the point of this is, rape of anyone should be condemned and shouldn’t become a factor in a discussion about atheism, religion, feminism.

    So, what, according to you, are we allowed to discuss in relation to those topics?
    If we discuss religion, are we limited to Kalam’s ontological argument and Pascal’s wager because they hardly touch the real world at all?
    Or are we allowed to point out the misogyny in religion and how it institutionalizes rape?
    Are we allowed to talk about religion and patriarchy and how that leads to the rapes of women and men?
    Religion and rape are related.
    Patriarchy and rape are.
    Religion and US prison culture are related.
    Prison culture and rape are related.

  15. Graham Martin-Royle says

    I’ve done it again haven’t I? One of these days I’ll learn how to express myself so that I don’t confuse people or get everyone thinking I’m saying something I’m not saying.

    I’m not saying I don’t want to talk about rape or that rape can’t be discussed in relation to religion, I was trying to say that I didn’t understand the MRA point about prison rape and that I thought that doing so just derails talking about religion. I think that the MRA types use these type of subjects to get people off the original point.

    That probably hasn’t helped has it?

  16. Kevin says

    Can sombody provide a reasonable estimate for X and Y in the following?

    If you are a man who goes his entire life without being convicted of a crime and incarcerated, your chances of being a victim of sexual assault are 1 in X. If you are a woman who goes her entire life without being convicted of a crime and incarcerated, your chances of being a victim of sexual assault are 1 in Y.

  17. says

    Graham Martin-Royle
    Ah, OK, I think I understand now.
    Yes, the subject of male rape-victims, especially of prison rape is usually a tactic for derailing.
    But it’s a tactic usually brought up in a specific context, which is misogyny and X with X being religion, atheism, whatever.
    At that point the male supremacists storm in, talking about prison rape, claim that it’s a much bigger problem that rape of women, when people tell them that they’re derailing, they then throw a tantrum how feminists give a shit about men, male rape-victims and are actually trying to enslave men.
    The bad old feminazi stance.
    Don’t get me (and most feminists, there’s always the odd one) wrong:
    Rape is always a serious crime.
    Prison rape is a freaking problem in the USA. I’m not claiming it doesn’t happen elsewhere in the western world, but I don’t think it’s a problem of that magnitude in Canada or Europe.
    Partly because of much lower numbers of prisoners, partly because of a different prison culture.
    And in every thread about male rape-victims, showing up, claiming that this is not important and that we must talk about female rape-victims instead would be a total asshole-move.
    But that’s exactly what the MRAs are doing. Not because they actually want to talk about male rape-victims*, but because they don’t want to talk about religion and misogyny, atheism and misogyny and want to stop anybody else from doing so, too.

    *I’m wondering how many of them also believe in just desserts

  18. Ullere says

    Wow you’ve cited a report that gives the prisoners self report victimisation, not the number that the BJS gives for male prison rape in 2008.

    The report you’ve chosen to use as the holy gospel by the BJS says that 72,000 prisoners self reported that they had been sexually assaulted. However the BJS itself along with prison rape advocacy groups state that self reporting is problematic among the prison population due to a variety of factors including intimidation, possible reprisals, etc. The main issue is of course that most rapes in prisons occur within the first 16 weeks of a sentence and self reporting will not include those prisoners who spend less than a year in jail who make up a large proportion of those raped.

    The BJS / doj(the same source you are using) Did release another source in regards to the actual number of male prisoners that fall victim to rape, note I mean the number of victims not the number of rapes. Just for you I looked it out in the federal register it’s on page 6268

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_nprm.pdf
    U.S. DOJ Estimates Over 216,000
    Inmates & Juveniles Victimized in 2008
    4 categories of sexual violence indicated:
     Rape involving force/threat of force
     Nonconsensual sexual acts w. pressure/coercion(legally rape)
     Abusive sexual contacts(legally rape)
     Willing sex with staff(legally counts as rape)
    ADULT PRISONS 91,400
    ADULT JAILS 108,100
    JUVENILE FACILITIES 17,100
    2008 TOTAL INCIDENTS 216,600*

    So hey look at that 216,000.

    So the BJS says that prisoners reported 72,000 rapes in 2008, then they themselves say that number is incorrect and estimate it to be at a bare minimum (a baseline) 216,000.

    ‘For each event type, the total number of individuals who were victimized during 2008 is estimated, using figures compiled from inmate surveys by BJS,6 as adjusted to account for the flow of inmates over that period of time. Inmates who experienced more than one type of victimization during the period are included in the figures for the most serious type of victimization they reported.’

    So you took one BJS report that has 72,000 prisoners report rape. The BJS took all their reports for the year and estimated that at the Bare minimum 216,000 rapes took place in US prisons in 2008. So are you going to suggest that somehow your BJS source is more accurate than the BJS?

    Now your ‘According to the NCVS, women experienced 202,000 sexual assaults in 2007 and 193,000 in 2008. ‘

    So two points, firstly 216,000 is higher than 193,000. Secondly the BJS estimate for prison rape, is for RAPE not for sexual assaults.

    But yeah us MRA’s just keep perpetuating myths by using the same sources you use, but you know, actually reading them.

  19. says

    Ullere, I hadn’t seen that report before. However, you do know that this includes male and female victims of rape and sexual assault while incarcerated, right? You do know that it includes exactly the same rapes and sexual assaults as the first set of BJS surveys, with only an adjustment for the fact that more people move through the system than can be surveyed in a single snapshot?

    Even distributing that number of assaults evenly across the male and female populations (which isn’t appropriate given higher rates of assault in incarcerated females in prisons and jails), that produces 2008 numbers of about 215,000 rapes and sexual assaults in females and about 205,000 in males.

    I do thank you for your comment, however. Looking back at my math, I see that I may have to redo part of this. I may have attributed too few of the assaults while incarcerated to the female prison/jail populations and too many to the male in my original estimates. I’ll certainly use this survey instead of the unadjusted original.

  20. Q says

    Question for the author: Where did you come up with the number 72,000 for the number of males sexually victimized in prisons and jails in 2008? I have read the BJS report on sexual victimization in prisons and jails in 2008, and I cannot find that number anywhere in the report. The report states that 88,500 PEOPLE (both male and female) were sexually victimized in 2008. It does not break that 88,500 down into male and female. Where did you come up with the 72,000?

  21. says

    I apportioned them based on number of inmates, which is where I undercounted the number of female victims and overcounted the male. If you look at Table 6, you’ll see that it includes rates of victimization, which I should have incorporated. Doing so, I get 50,000 sexual assaults for males in 2008 instead.

    I am not counting willing sexual contact with an authority in these figures, not because I give it any kind of approval, but because those same situations are not counted outside of the prison survey for any comparison to be made.

  22. Q says

    I see Table 6, where it shows the number of male and female inmates nationwide. When you talk about how you apportioned them, how exactly did you do this to arrive at your stated number? I’m not questioning your methodology, I’m just asking specifically how you arrived at that number so that everyone can see how you did it. What calculation did you use? Not generalities. You are stating an exact number. What was the specific calculation that you used to arrive at that number? Thanks.

  23. Sig says

    Add

    Stephanie said

    “Note: See comments for discussion of a further adjustment to the 2008 BJS prison data from another report. TL;DR version: No there still aren’t more rapes in men.”

    The latest CDC figures show that in the previous year women and men outside of prison were raped at equal rates, as prison rape is mainly male on male rape, that year at least, more men than women in the US were raped.

    I saw Ozymandias of “No Seriously What About the Menz” make the same mistake Stephanie. She worked off the assumption that MRA’s were wrong about the number of unsheltered homeless men and made a post about it having only taken a cursory glance at the numbers and erased this discriminated against, un-sheltered homeless men.

    Feminists need to improve their understanding of the data, and learn that the information that comes from feminism, is not the gospel truth that followers of feminism seem to believe that it is, feminist data is political and ADVOCACY research, which is not the same thing as scientific research.

    – your rape stats always exclude female on male rape, so of course the results appear gendered.

    – feminism abuses the wage gape data, and feminists don’t understand that or what the data is really saying.

    – Feminism for 40 years has been abusing domestic abuse data and lying about it being a gendered problem, feminists don’t understand that or what the independent data is really saying.

    Then, when feminists hear the mens movement cite the better data, feminists will scoff and abuse and revert to all sorts of fallacious arguments it protect their ideological beliefs. It would be much easier if feminists didn’t take this blind faith approach to the debate and assume that X data is correct by virtue of its sources and conformation of ideological biases and that Y data is incorrect, by virtue of its source and contradiction of their ideological biases.

  24. says

    Sig, I assume you’re talking about the NISVS data, which shows equal rates of forced penetration and other unwanted sexual contact in males and females in 2008, but shows about 700,000 more cases of rape by coercion in women than in men? You understand that 216,000 prison rapes and sexual assaults in a year is not going to erase those differences, yes?

    If you’re going to complain that feminists don’t understand their statistics, you should really make an effort to do so yourself instead of just stopping when you hit a result that makes you happy.

  25. Sig says

    Stephanie

    You are making another mistake. Of course the NISVS shows more rape of women, because it doesn’t classify “forced to penetrate another” as rape.

    Its only when all forms of rape by penetration, and forced to penetrate another are measured against each other, does the number show parity.

  26. Sig says

    Ah, here comes the snark. It’s more a cause of you not understanding my I comment, and I do understand your comment.

  27. Sig says

    Edit

    Ah, here comes the snark. It’s more a caSE of you not understanding my comment, and I do understand your comment.

  28. Sig says

    Stephanie

    If you compare the percentage of rape for women with the percentage of “Other Sexual Violence – Made to penetrate” (=rape) for men (again, both numbers include attempts as well as drug induced rape) the number in the last year for both is 1.1%.

    Table 2.1 on page 18 and table 2.2 on page 19

    Of course if you just read the summary. The study does report more rapes of women as you point out, but as I point out that disparity is an illusion created by the fact that they don’t call it rape, when its “made to penetrate”.

    Now if you add those figures (parity) to last years prison rape data, you find that more men were raped than women, that year.

  29. Sig says

    You comment was read, and its incorrect and a misunderstanding of my comment.

    Sig, I assume you’re talking about the NISVS data, which shows equal rates of forced penetration and other unwanted sexual contact in males and females in 2008,

    “but shows about 700,000 more cases of rape by coercion in women than in men?2

    You understand that 216,000 prison rapes and sexual assaults in a year is not going to erase those differences, yes?

  30. Sig says

    You said

    “Sig, I assume you’re talking about the NISVS data, which shows equal rates of forced penetration and other unwanted sexual contact in males and females in 2008, but shows about 700,000 more cases of rape by coercion in women than in men? ”

    I said

    Stephanie

    If you compare the percentage of rape for women with the percentage of “Other Sexual Violence – Made to penetrate” (=rape) for men (again, both numbers include attempts as well as drug induced rape) the number in the last year for both is 1.1%.

    Table 2.1 on page 18 and table 2.2 on page 19

    Of course if you just read the summary. The study does report more rapes of women as you point out, but as I point out that disparity is an illusion created by the fact that they don’t call it rape, when its “made to penetrate”.

    Now if you add those figures (parity) to last years prison rape data, you find that more men were raped than women, that year.

    This part “You understand that 216,000 prison rapes and sexual assaults in a year is not going to erase those differences, yes?”

    Is a misunderstanding of what I am saying, on your part.

    And now you are claiming that you some how know that I didn’t read your comment.

  31. says

    Sure you understood my comment. That’s why you spent several comments “explaining” something I’d already stipulated–that rates of forcible rape in the NISVS data are nearly equal between men and women. As I pointed out in that comment, it is in rape by coercion that there is a large gender difference that will not be erased by adding incarceration statistics to the NISVS data. If you’re looking to compare apples to apples, you need to include the coercion, since the prison statistics do.

    On the other hand, if you only want to look at forcible rape for whatever reason, that still doesn’t get you to more rapes in men. The NISVS data has 1,401,000 forcible rapes in women and 1,267,000 forcible rapes in men in the 12-month survey period. The difference there is 134,000. The incarceration data includes a total of 69,800 forcible rapes. Even if those rapes were all in men, which they aren’t, that still wouldn’t produce figures showing more rape in men.

    There is no way to cut this data honestly and produce the claimed “More men raped than women” result.

  32. Sig says

    If you are looking to compare apples and apples, you can’t because prison rape is generally very repetitive and on a level of brutality and coercion that will only very rarely exist on the outside, and you can be guaranteed none of the figures for prison rape include grey areas, people that decided to have consensual sex will under the influence but later regretted it and ended up a statistic because of ambiguity in the test questions. And the factoid, is not an mra factoid in the first place, as far as I know it was started by a prison rape advocacy group – so what you seem to be doing here is using the factoid and rape in order to score points against men’s rights, while in the “manboobz” style, a peanut gallery scoffs and cheers on from the comments section.
    Much like Ozymandias on unsheltered homeless, in your rush to score points against mens rights, you are misusing victims or rape.

  33. says

    Ooh, so now I’m not lying about the numbers, but I must somehow still be lying. Interesting how that works. What’s your source for your assertions about the nature of prison rape versus other types of rape, by the way?

  34. Sig says

    I’m not saying that you are lying, I’m saying that you are exploiting this in order to score political points, that your primary motivation here is attack men’s rights. I think you’re right and that factoid does need to go. The other factoids that you have debunked here, and mens rights positions that you have supported – that women are not the overwhelming majority of victims of rape and men are not the overwhelming majority of rapists are more widespread, harmful and important to debunk. I’m going to apologize to you because I can see you are honest, by own experiences and biases told me “feminist talking about rape they must be lying and using rape to score political points.” I think that I was only half right.

  35. Sig says

    Stephanie

    Can you come back and talk to me about where you have been dishonest. Attributing a factoid that has been produced by a prison rape advocacy group to the men’s rights movement?

    Most discussion of rape in the mens rights movement, and there has been a lot lately has been about the feminist lobbies exclusion of female rape by envelopment from the new definitions and the fact that when studies ask men for rape by envelopment, we see something close to parity.

    Also, if you were serious about dispelling factoids relating to rape should you not be looking at feminism, which routinely tell deliberate lies about abuse being gendered, the mens movement tends to be the better of the two groups when it comes to data and research?

  36. Sig says

    They seem to be articles discussing the methods used to generate rape factoids used by feminism… its true that mra’s talk about feminism’s faulty data and bogus claims relating to rape and abuse eg. but can you support your assertion that the prison rape advocacy groups claim that more men are raped in prison than women are outside is an mra claim?

    Surely feminism, which has been lying to public and gov. for 40 years about gendered abuse and the prison rape advocacy group that made the claim are the worst offenders in this story. The fact that you are focusing on some mras’ here says to me that you are using rape as political football.

  37. Sig says

    Here, this is what it looks like when a political group ot telling deliberate lies about abuse rates.

    Have a look at the DV page of main lobby group that pushed through the new definitions of rape that exclude most forms of female perp’d rape.

    h t tp://feminist.org/other/dv/dvfact.html

    Do some fact checking on the FF101 DV page which is another deliberate work of fiction and propaganda and lies

    h tt p://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/faq-but-doesnt-evidence-show-that-women-are-just-as-likely-to-batter-their-partners-as-men/

  38. says

    Actually, Human Rights Watch (which is not a prison rape advocacy group) created a report based on the best data available at the time. That report led to the law responsible for the collection of better data. It is the repetition of the claim in a context unlinked to the original and without reference to more recent data that turns it into a factoid. That’s what is documented happening–by self-proclaimed MRAs–in those links. Seriously, try reading for comprehension, even where it contradicts what you think should be there.

    Beyond that, you might want to note that the practices rape researchers are criticized for and feminists criticized for citing, namely using descriptions of nonconsensual sex that involve intoxication and verbally wearing down the victim in surveys on the prevalence of rape, are exactly what produced the NISVS study that is now being cited as demonstrating high levels of rape in men. Kindly pick one or the other to get upset over, because when you try to have it both ways, it gets ridiculous quickly.

  39. says

    Sig would like everyone to know that I’m “hiding behind moderation” and “censoring conversation about feminism abusing data and creating factoids about gendered abuse”. Not that he’s done anything more than point to those pages he claims are filled with lies and tell me to research them. Very bored now.

    But, you know, he’s totally not trying to score any political points.

  40. Saddharma Pundarika says

    The details of the origins of Rape Culture as a concept are confirmed:

    Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology (2007) Page 3791

    “Rape culture is a concept of unknown origin and of uncertain definition; yet it has made its way into everyday vocabulary and is assumed to be commonly understood. The award winning documentary film Rape Culture made by Margaret Lazarus in 1975 takes credit for first defining the concept.”

    See Also:

    1) Norsigian, Judy, Women, Health, and Films, Women & Health, 20 January 1975, Vol 1, issue 1, 29–30, doi 10.1300/J013v01n01_07

    2) Legacy Business Registration Details – District of Columbia Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs.: Company Name:PRISONERS AGAINST RAPE INC., File Number:751827, Filing State:District of Columbia (DC)

    3) Fuller, William; Cannon, Larry Cannon, Prisoners Against Rape, Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter and Aegis: Magazine on Ending Violence Against Women, 1974, Sep/Oct,

    4) Prisoners Against Rape, Prisoners Against Rape, Crime and social justice, Issues 1-8, 1974, Vol 1, 45–46

    5) Anonymous Author for the Black Panther Newspaper, Lorton Organizes Prisoners Against Rape, Black Panther, March 22, 1975, page 9

    6) Follet, Joyce, Interview with LORETTA ROSS:Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, 2004–2005, 122–124

    7) Book – No isbn: William Fuller, Larry Cannon, Prisoners Against Rape: Capitalist Economics Breeds Rape, Robbery, Murder, All Other Crimes, 20 pages.

    8) Jackie MacMillan, Freada Klein, F.A.A.R. Editorial, Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter and Aegis: Magazine on Ending Violence Against Women, 1974, Sep/Oct,

    Follet, Joyce, Interview with LORETTA ROSS:

    ROSS: And then — oh, I’ve forgotten to tell you about Prisoners Against Rape. One of the more interesting things that happened when I was at the Rape Crisis Center is that we got contacted by a group of black men who were prisoners at Lorton Reformatory. This kind of was one of the ways that Yulanda got engaged. This guy named William Fuller wrote us. William was a guy who was in prison for rape and murder. He’d been incarcerated for 15 years about that time, and he wrote this oh so moving letter, saying that while I was on the outside, I raped women. Now on the inside, I rape men. I want to stop raping. Can you help me? That’s the essence of his letter. We went, Ah, ssshhh — talk about causing a controversy.

    and

    So then we started buying multiple copies of Ain’t I a Woman and, you know, whatever books were out there that we were reading, we started buying copies for the prisoners, and he put together, like, five guys, all rapists, like this little clique he controlled. And we started a prison-based version of the D.C. Study Group in prison. And we went down every Friday and we spent the afternoon with them.

    FOLLET: You and Yulanda?

    ROSS: Well, we rotated. We, sometimes Yulanda, sometimes Nkenge, you know. And we kind of held a whole Study Group with this group of guys. That went on for about two years. Eventually they formed a group called Prisoners Against Rape. A movie was made about these guys by some film maker in Minneapolis. I don’t know who or what, but through correspondence, we heard about that. They became a model for prison-based anti-rape programs.

    And for the most part, people respected the rules and the guidelines. Now where it got complicated was when some of the white women started going to the prison, and then they were the ones that started breaking the rules about smuggling things to the guys and stuff. Harmless stuff. Tennis shoes or whatever stuff like that, but William had to kick a couple of guys out of the group because they had started relationships with women who had come down there through the Rape Crisis Center. Unfortunately, they were all white, the women were. And, so that was hard to manage and just — how come she was a lesbian until she met him? (laughs) you know, kind of cynical stuff was happening. But I did enjoy dealing with Prisoners Against Rape.