SPR Commends Wisconsin for Passing Law on Custodial Sexual Misconduct
August 20, 2003
LOS ANGELES - The director of the human rights group
Stop Prisoner Rape praised Wisconsin legislators and Wisconsin Gov. Jim
Doyle today for passing AB 51, a law criminalizing custodial sexual
contact between corrections officers and inmates. /p>
"We are pleased to see Wisconsin taking this step,"
said SPR Executive Director Lara Stemple. "The passage of this law sends
the message that custodial sexual misconduct is an issue the state takes
seriously. These kinds of changes in laws and attitudes contribute to a
safer, more humane society for all of us."
With the passage of the Wisconsin law, only three other
states in the nation - Alabama, Vermont and Oregon - are without statutes
that criminalize sexual relations between corrections officers and
"We hope these states will follow the responsible
example set by Wisconsin," Stemple said.
SPR pushed for the passage of the new law, publishing
an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel that drew attention to the pattern of abuses that had
taken place in Wisconsin.
As SPR noted - and as was reported on several occasions
in the Wisconsin media - female inmates in Wisconsin facilities had been
impregnated through sexual contact with corrections officers and had faced
disciplinary segregation for reporting their pregnancies./p>
In the most notorious case, a young, mentally ill
inmate was sentenced to solitary confinement for becoming pregnant by a
corrections officer, while the officer who caused her to become pregnant
faced no charges.