JDI’s Comment on Yesterday’s Daily Beast Article on LGBT Inmates and Sexual Abuse
August 23, 2013
Please attribute the following quote to Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International
“Mansfield Frazier’s Daily Beast article on LGBT inmates and sexual abuse is deeply offensive and totally out of touch with reality. It’s simply outrageous to suggest, as Mr. Frazier does, that sexual violence against LGBT inmates is a problem that has been exaggerated, or that prison is a 'palace' for LGBT people. Every day, JDI hears from LGBT inmates who have been subjected to horrific sexual abuse and harassment. These accounts are borne out by a series of far-reaching inmate surveys conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The BJS studies have consistently shown that sexual abuse is rampant in prisons and jails, and that LGBT inmates are disproportionately targeted.”
It's encouraging that the Daily Beast removed some of the piece's more offensive content about prisoner rape, and that they added a note acknowledging the magnitude of the crisis. To give its readers a sense of how LGBT inmates are often treated, JDI recommends that the Daily Beast seek out and publish an account from an LGBT survivor of sexual abuse or harassment behind bars. There are countless current and former LGBT inmates who have been willing to tell their stories of abuse. It would be well worth it for the Daily Beast to give them a platform to do so."