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Sexual Victimization Reported by Former State Prisoners, 2008

NCJ Number
Allen J. Beck Ph.D.; Candace Johnson Ph.D.
Date Published
May 2012
52 pages
This is a survey of sexual victimization as reported by former inmates regarding their direct experience.

Presents data on sexual victimization experienced by former state prisoners during their prior term of incarceration, including any time served in a local jail, state prison, or postrelease community-correctional facility. This report is based on data from the first-ever National Former Prisoner Survey, conducted between January 2008 and October 2008. The report provides detailed information on the experiences of persons age 18 or older who were under active supervision following their release from custody. It provides data on the prevalence of sexual victimization while incarcerated, by the type of victimization and sex of former inmate. The report also examines individual-level and facility-level characteristics that may be correlated with sexual victimization and describes the circumstances surrounding victimization. It provides details on the post-release responses of victims to sexual victimization, HIV rates of victims, and information on current employment status, housing, and living arrangements.

  • An estimated 9.6% of former state prisoners reported one or more incidents of sexual victimization during the most recent period of incarceration in a jail, prison, and postrelease community-treatment facility.
  • Among all former state prisoners, 1.8% reported experiencing one or more incidents while in a local jail, 7.5% while in a state prison, and 0.1% while in a postrelease community-treatment facility.
  • About 5.4% of former state prisoners reported an incident that involved another inmate. An estimated 3.7% of former prisoners said they were forced or pressured to have nonconsensual sex with another inmate, including manual stimulation and oral, anal, or vaginal penetration.
  • About 5.3% of former state prisoners reported an incident that involved facility staff. An estimated 1.2% of former prisoners reported that they unwillingly had sex or sexual contact with facility staff, and 4.6% reported that they "willingly" had sex or sexual contact with staff.