I know this is the long-standing “code” in prison, but why exactly?
I wonder if many prisoners, whose lives were probably screwed up by bad or no parenting, were themselves victims of child molestation?
I think the "Convict Code of Justice" as inmates' moral outrage against pedophiles is liberal propaganda.
I'd bet it's more a matter of prison pecking order and natural selection. Those with only enough machismo to prey on children would be those who are both singled out as prey and least equipped to defend themselves in prison
Rapists, child molesters/pedophiles are ranked (along with snitches) as the lowest form of life by inmates in correctional institutions. This largley has to do with the other inmates (i.e., thieves, killers, robbers, drug dealers, etc.) viewing sex offenders in general as threats to their wives, girlfriends and/or kids who are on the outside.
Being that they are locked up, they are incapable of directly defending their wives and kids against these sex offenders on the outside. As such, an unwritten code has developed that when these sex offenders do get locked up they can expect unusually harsh treatment by the other inmates. This serves as a warning to potential rapists and pedophiles on the outside.
There may also be any number of inmates who are incarcerated that have also been abused when they were children too. For such indiviuals, revenge could be a motivating factor as well. There is also the general sickness and revulsion factor that these “traditional” crooks feel towards sex offenders, just like most everybody else feels in open society.
Lastly, prison is a caste system. You always have the separation between staff and inmates. But also within the inmate population, the criminals further segregate themselves by race, gang affiliation, criminal history, etc.
Cop killers are viewed as virtual royalty by the inmate population. Highly notorious inmates who don’t talk are also accorded high respect ... a good example is Bernie Madoff. Snitches, rapists and child molesters are regarded as bottom feeders and are considered open targets.