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Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and Probationers

NCJ Number
172879
Date Published
April 1999
Length
4 pages
Author(s)
C W Harlow
Agencies
BJS
Publication Series
Annotation
This report describes prior physical and sexual abuse reported by persons in prisons and jails and on probation and examines types of abuse, age when abuse occurred, age of abusers, and the person's relationship with the abuser; the report also looks at drug abuse histories of State prison inmates reporting prior physical and sexual abuse.
Abstract
Survey questions largely relied on respondents to define for themselves physical and sexual abuse. Findings revealed that 19 percent of State prison inmates, 10 percent of Federal inmates, and 16 percent of those in local jails or on active probation had been physically or sexually abused before their current sentence. Between 6 and 14 percent of male offenders and between 23 and 37 percent of female offenders reported they had been physically or sexually abused before 18 years of age. About 33 percent women in State prisons, 17 percent of women in Federal prisons, and 25 percent of women in jails said they had been raped before their sentence. Another 3 to 6 percent reported someone had unsuccessfully tried to rape them. More than half of abused women said they were hurt by spouses or boyfriends, and less than a third by parents or guardians. More than half of abused men in correctional populations identified parents or guardians as abusers. Among State prison inmates, 1 in 20 men and 1 in 4 women said they had been sexually abused before 18 years of age; 1 in 10 men and 1 in 4 women had been physically abused. For State prisoners reporting prior abuse, 89 percent had used illegal drugs; 76 percent of men and 80 percent of women had used them regularly. Of those not reporting prior abuse, 82 percent had used illegal drugs; 68 percent of men and 65 percent of women had used them regularly. Survey findings are compared to abuse in the general population. 5 tables
Date Created: December 17, 2009