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Prison Rape: Law, Media, and Meaning

NCJ Number
Michael A. Smyth
Date Published
195 pages
This book discusses sexual assault in prison settings.
This book focuses on prison rape discourse generated between 1969 and 2006 in the legal and print news media. Included in the discussion is a detailed analysis of the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (2003) as a punitive historical moment in a Nation that has traditionally preferred to litigate rather than legislate questions surrounding the treatment of those incarcerated. This book contains six chapters: chapter 1 introduces theoretical concerns, data, and method of analysis; chapter 2 examines prison rape in the popular press between 1960 and 1991 when the subject first emerged as an object of interest in the U.S. newspapers; chapter 3 examines prison rape in the popular press between 1992 and 2006 after the tough-on-crime campaign during the Nixon-era criminal justice buildup; chapter 4 discusses prison rape in the courts between 1969 and 1991 and outlines, in the historical era, the line separating appellate-level legal discourse framing prison rape in terms of institutional failure; chapter 5 discusses prison in the courts between 1992 and 2006 and describes the prison rape-related litigation in contemporary-era courts which coincided with a shift in how prison rape was framed; and chapter 6 provides summary and conclusions. References and index