Jana-lyn Hill, Activist Speaks out on Prison rape, Grand Prairie News, Feb.18, 1999.
There are more prisoners raped every day than women and children on the
outside combined, said Tom Cahill, president of Stop Prison Rape, Inc.,
during a recent appearance at St. Charles Anglican Church in Grand Prairie.
has Amnesty International looked into the rights of United States prisoners
in the organization's 27-year history," Cahill said of the advocacy
group he represents for global human rights.
According to a survey
conducted in 1995, 83,000 prisoners are raped each year on a daily basis.
Most victims are men. The survey was taken by Stephen Donaldson, who died
in 1996 of AIDS, reportedly contracted as a result of prison rape.
"I believe the
criminal justice system just doesn't condone violence, it encourages violence
-- manufactures violence and profits from "violence by frightening
taxpayers out of more appropriations," Cahill said.
Prison rape not only
violates the 8th Amendment of the US. Constitution, which forbids cruel
and unusual punishment, it also violates the 13th Amendment which forbids
slavery, Cahill said.
"Once a prisoner
is raped, he usually becomes a sexual slave to another prisoner who will
force him into prostitution for amenities such as drugs," Cahill
Cahill believes in
recent years, more people are jailed longer for non-violent crimes which
has caused overcrowding and ultimately prison rape.
"Most of the
victims are young, nonviolent, first-time offenders, confined for a little
too much pot and too poor to buy their freedom," Cahill said.
In the February 1,
issue of Time magazine, it was estimated that nearly 2 million men, women
and children are behind bars, Cahill said.
"The United States
is the biggest gulag, a term used for a Russian political prison, in the
world. These are more prisoners per capita than any other nation. We have
no statistics of women and children raped in captivity, but we estimate
they are much fewer simply because there are far more males locked up,"
In the late 1960s,
Cahill was an activist for civil rights and published an underground newspaper,
The Inferno. In October 1968, he was jailed for civil disobedience.
"I was placed
in what was known as a gorilla cage, where I was beaten, gang-raped and
otherwise tortured for 24 hours. Afterward, I learned from my cellmates
they had been told by my guard that I was a child molester and if they
took care of me, they'd get An extra ration of Jell-O," Cahill said.
Cahill contends the
criminal justice industry is expanding by putting fear into middle class
taxpayers by using propaganda and technology.
"Have you seen
the bumper sticker, 'Empty the prisons: make room for Congress'? This a
is no joke to me, it is a prayer," Cahill said.