Skip to comments.Panel on Prison Rape Hears Victims' Chilling Accounts
Posted on 08/20/2005 11:18:38 AM PDT by neverdem
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 19 - T. J. Parsell was a lanky pimple-faced adolescent bent on mischief. So when he found a toy gun one evening in 1978 while wandering home from a high school party, he thought nothing of pointing it at a store clerk and grumbling, "Your money or your life."
He got $50 for what he now calls "a stupid impulsive prank." The incident landed the 17-year-old Parsell in an adult jail, where on his first night, an older inmate spiked his drink with Thorazine and sexually abused and raped him.
"While my friends prepared for our high school prom, I was being gang raped," Mr. Parsell testified on Friday to a Congressional commission investigating prison sexual abuse and rape.
Mr. Parsell, now 45, and a successful software executive who lives on Long Island, was one of six victims of prison rape to relate disturbing accounts with a bipartisan panel of The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission here.
"What they took from me went beyond sex," Mr. Parsell said. "They'd stolen my manhood, my identity and part of my soul."
The panel, which also heard from state and federal legislators, law enforcement and prison officials and mental health experts, has been investigating the prevalence, cause and possible solutions to a problem that many experts say has escalated as the prison system is collapsing. Overcrowding, staff shortages and budget cuts have contributed to an often taboo topic.
"As a society, we have an obligation to protect the people we lock up, even though they have harmed society," the commission chairman, Judge Reggie B. Walton of Federal District Court in Washington, said. "Some people say inmates get what they deserve. But they don't think about the overall impact on society."
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Can we send the BTK guy to that jail?
Cracking down on prison rape is a far cry from coddling prisoners. No man deserves to suffer that indignity, and it is cruel to suggest otherwise.
He was obviously let out of prison too soon. He wasn't rehabilitated since he still refuses to take responsibility for his criminal acts. When he shows some remorse, I'll show some sympathy.
I'm amazed at this attitude that says "whatever happens to you in prison, you deserve it because you committed the action that put you there."
If the sentence is rape, they ought to be raped and have done with it. But don't add incarceration as an additional punishment.
Look. You made a brash, ill-considered comment. We all do. Why don't you just drop it or acknowledge it?
Well, consider this: you're only one false accusation away from jail and rape. Not a pleasant prospect.
people know what happens in prison
the moral of the story is stay out of it
Because he didn't go to prison for child rape that's how. He was sent for a hold up.
There is some insidiousness to this. Felons go off to prison and learn about man on man sex. Some learn they like it. They get released and return to wives or girlfriends but continue to have sex "on the down low" and start spreading nasty STDs in the community.
I agree, his actions put him there. Yet unless I am mistaken, "forcible rape by a homosexual prisoner" was not part of his sentence. It is not just, and people need to stop overlooking it. They have broken the law and deserve punishment, but prisoners are also deserving of dignity as people made in the image of God.
Agreed. This is horrible, especially for those who have not committed a violent crime and hurt another person.
You'll care when they are released upon the community. They went in for paper-hanging. They came out angry and vengeful.
His rightful punishment could have taken the form of the store owner pumping him full of buckshot. He's damn luck to be alive. Call me insensitive.
How do we know.
Juvenile records are sealed.
Point is, we don't know what his criminal history is.
I think we should care a great deal. Prisoners should have to serve their sentence, not worry that they are going to die, be raped or catch an STD while behind bars. It robs them of their dignity.
I won't admit something that isn't true: you dismissed the point of the story with the statement that the person raped had done something wrong--and the strong implication was that he deserved it. Others also think you said that. Don't weasel now.
Is that your rationale? Good Lord.