Molly Markland, UT Alumnus, Prison Rape Victim Speaks Out Against Sexual Abuse, The Daily Texan, Feb. 8, 1999.
"Prisoner rape may be the quickest, most cost-effective way to produce
a sociopath or even psychopath. Many prison rape survivors become rapists
themselves in a demented attempt to regain what they think is their lost
Tom Cahill, president, Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc.
A former UT student and long-time political activist spoke on campus Saturday
about his drive to eliminate prison rape in US. correctional institutions.
An audience of more
than 30, mainly Amnesty International members, listened as Tom Cahill,
president of Stop Prison Rape, Inc. explained how personal experience
drove him to take action.
"Tens of thousands
of mainly young men are sexually assaulted daily in U.S. correctional
institutions," Cahill said.. "Many, if not most, are confined
for a little too much marijuana."
Cahill added that
prison rape may decrease the likelihood of rehabilitation.
maybe the quickest, most cost-effective way to produce a sociopath or
even psychopath," he said. "Many prison rape survivors become
rapists themselves in a demented attempt to regain what they think is
their lost manhood."
Cahill was jailed
October 1968 for civil disobedience in San Antonio.
During Cahill's time
in Bexar County Jail, he was held in a gorilla cage, prison slang for
a deliberately overcrowded and racially mixed cell block.
a burly young prisoner announced, as the grinning guard brought me to
the cage," Cahill said. "My cellmates beat, tortured and gang-raped
me for 24 hours."
Cahill alleges his
rape resulted from an FBI operation to halt his anti-war involvement.
He said his tormentors
were told he was a convicted child molester, making him a prime target
for "turning out" - the prolonged sexual abuse of new inmates.
"The FBI does
have primary jurisdiction in working and continuing civil rights investigations
and alleged civil rights violations in and around correctional institutions,"
said Darren Holmes, spokesman for the San Antonio FBI office. "It
is a matter we take very seriously. If this individual feels as though
his civil rights were violated, he needs to come forward and file a complaint
with our office."
Cahill has filed a
freedom of information act, basing his claims upon two partially censored
memos he received. Federal Judge Eugene Lynch denied Cahill the censored
portions. The censored memos make no reference to Cahill's rape.
The October 1968 memo
refers to Cahill's "anti-Vietnam activities" and FBI attempts
to "neutralize his effect."
The second memo, dated
after Cahill's release, reports is that he and his sister left San Antonio
for California and "leftist activities" in San Antonio have
Cahill said the situation
in prison has escalated since his days as a victim.
"The rape of
prisoners in U.S. correctional institutions is such a gross violation
of human and civil rights that it must be among the blackest marks on
the soul and history of the country," Cahill said.
Adult male prison
inmates are raped 83,000 times doily, according to Stop Prison Rape, Inc.
But Larry Todd, a
Texas Department of Criminal Justice public information officer, said
prison rape is a rare occurrence.
"We don't think
it is to the degree indicated by [Cahill's] statistics," Todd said.
"But prison is not a nice place to be."