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Staff sexual abuse rampant at Manhattan prison

Bayview Correctional Facility, a medium-security women’s prison on West 20th Street has the highest rate of inmates accusing guards of sexual abuse.

One New York State prison — Bayview Correctional Facility, a medium-security women’s prison on West 20th Street — has the highest rate of inmates accusing guards of sexual abuse. That’s out of 163 surveyed U.S. prisons, according to the August Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

About 57 percent of Bayview inmates surveyed alleged being forced into sex with guards or threatened with force.

Some prisoners reported willingly participating in sexual relationships with guards or prison employees. But such relationships are illegal under New York State law.

Inmates in romantic relationships with staff often “date” or have sex with them in exchange for relatively benign and inexpensive contraband — such as gum, food from the outside and sneakers.

Two other prisons in the state — Attica and Elmira — also had unusually high rates of inmate-reported sexual abuse, according to the survey.

Nearly 12 percent of Bayview inmates reported staff sexual abuse in 2008 and 2009. The prison’s rate of inmate-alleged abuse was more than five times higher than the national average for women’s prisons, 2.2 percent.

E-mail Kelly Virella at kelly@citylimits.org.

–For more on the prevalence of sexual abuse and sexual relationships between guards and prisoners in New York state prisons, go to www.citylimits.org.

 

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