Eli Lehrer urges Congress and the Obama administration to move faster on efforts to stop prison rape. But they face many hurdles:
Particularly in the most chaotic prisons, turning a blind eye towards sexual abuse helps keep tensions between racial-supremacist gangs under control. In juvenile facilities, furthermore, a growing body of evidence of guards abusing their charges has some guards and administrators rightly nervous that tougher standards will reveal deeper problems. Finally, society’s refusal to take sexual abuse in detention seriously, combined with the utterly distasteful nature of the problem, makes it something that many would prefer to sweep under the rug. The slow pace of the process so far for example, even though nobody openly opposes the idea of standards, getting Congress to approve exceedingly modest legislation took almost two years of work shows that many would prefer that it remain sub rosa.