PRISON BREAKDOWN

05.17.13

Sex Assaults Highest at Denver Prison

Ten percent of inmates report abuse.

More than 10 percent of inmates at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility say they’ve been sexually assaulted or subjected to sexual misconduct by the prison’s staff, according to a new study from the U.S. Department of Justice. As The Denver Post reported, the prison has the highest rate in the nation, four times the national average of 2.4 percent. In 2008 an inmate at the prison filed a lawsuit saying she’d been sexually assaulted by a corrections offer; she was awarded $1.3 million, though the officer involved was sentenced to only 60 days in prison. Several other prisoners filed another suit in 2011, but it was dismissed. Most women, inmates say, are afraid to report abuse, because the staff can retaliate by placing them in administration segregation. “So none of us say nothing about nothing,” one woman told The Denver Post.