Some of these stories are graphic, uncensored accounts of actual rapes and surrounding
circumstances. The language used may be raw and include street slang. JDI has made
only minor edits for spelling and clarity. The views expressed are those of the
individual survivor/author, and are not necessarily the views of Just Detention
My name is Scott. I am currently in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and residing in a halfway house. I was convicted of state theft charges and federal tax code violations. Before I was taken into BOP custody, however, I served time in the Colorado Department of Corrections and it was there that I was repeatedly raped, assaulted, and extorted by members of a large, notorious gang.
I was first incarcerated at the Freemont Correctional Facility in Colorado in October 2004. Members of the 2-11 Crew, a white supremacist gang, were also at that facility and had seen some news reports about my crimes. They tried to get me to defraud the IRS for their benefit, but I refused.
When they learned that I was gay, they increased their threats and became violent. A gang member who went by the name “Ghost” forced me to perform oral sex on other inmates to pay off his debts.
After contacting a friend on the outside, I was transferred to Sterling Correctional Facility. I told three case managers there that I needed protection from the 2-11 Crew, because they had transferred a gang member from my prior facility to Sterling, but they said that I needed to name names or nothing could be done.
I knew that if I provided the names of members of this large and powerful gang, I would be in further danger. So nothing was done and I was again raped and forced to perform oral sex on one gang member in a bathroom stall and, days later, forced to have oral sex with another gang member who then anally raped me.
I spent two years trying to get protection by writing to officials. I was told that I could enter Administrative Segregation only if I provided a taped statement against the two gang members.
In February 2006, I finally decided to identify the gang members who raped me and forced me into prostitution. On the day that I was released from state custody, I was placed in a holding cell with one of my assailants. He beat me and forced me to perform oral sex, calling me a snitch.
My efforts to report were mostly fruitless – and often put me at greater risk. Because I am openly gay, officials blamed me for the attacks, saying I should have kept a low profile. They said that as a homosexual I should expect to be targeted by one gang or another. They never recognized that, rather than instigating the abuse, I was actually far more vulnerable because of my sexuality.
The officials that I reported to, even when they were not hostile to me, still did not know how to react. They simply did not know what to do with me and failed to take even the most basic measures. When I finally provided testimony against a gang member, I was later put in the same cell with him anyway.
Staff need to be educated about this problem and what they can do to protect inmates. There was already a PREA [Prison Rape Elimination Act] coordinator at the facility where I was, but no one knew anything about PREA. The officers only wanted perpetrator names, they did not know how to help me. When I was too afraid to name assailants, they did not know who to contact, they did not know what to do with my reports.
Even if it had resulted in any help, the grievance process took more than a year. I would not have been able to get any immediate protection, and having to revisit the abuse throughout that process was further traumatizing.
The facility only provided group therapy. Having been targeted by a large gang, I was too afraid to address my assaults with other inmates. I was told that if I chose to refuse group therapy that was my choice and I would not be provided with any individual counseling.
I am in a halfway house now and working with counselors at a nearby rape crisis center, who have been incredibly supportive. My case manager and parole officer are also supportive. However, I continue to have various medical problems stemming from this abuse. I have nightmares, suffer from paranoia, inability to eat at times and I take various medications for blood pressure, cardiac palpitations, and other anxiety-related problems.
Being targeted by a gang placed me at obvious risk for ongoing abuse but officials took no real actions to protect me.
- Scott, Colorado