Ezra Klein links to a first-person account of a man who was gang raped while serving a sentence for DUI in an American penitentiary. Erza observes that “there is no greater, or more common, human rights abuses in America than those occurring in our overcrowded, constantly expanding, jails.”
That homosexual rape is routine in our prison system is so widely acknowledged that it is part of our pop culture humor. Yet there seems little outcry. I don’t have any sympathy per se for complaints about “overcrowding” of convicted felons but the jungle atmosphere that pervades our penitentiary system is a national disgrace and rather clearly violates the letter and spirit of the 8th Amendment.
UPDATE: Steve Bainbridge reminds us that “when it comes to corporate executives, many people seem to see prison rape as an appropriate sanction.”
Independently, Megan McArdle “do[es] not think that there is any crime for which the appropriate punishment is rape.” Yet, that is the de facto sentence for prisoners placed in many of our prisons and penitentiaries.