The authors highlight the key role of prison officers in addressing the problem of sexual violence in prisons, advising that appropriate education and training is critical in improving prevention and detection. Pardue et al observe that a benign approach taken by prison authorities to this issue could contribute to sustaining the harm. They also acknowledge that prison staff can become implicated or involved in the sexual coercion of female inmates.
Most interestingly, this month's discussion quickly moved from a consideration of the two selected articles to a broader (and rapidly spiralling!) debate about the sexualisation of women in the media, both as perpetrators and as victims of crime; in light of the tendency towards such objectification research on women in prison presents a means of acknowledging the subjectivity and integrity of such persons. While DA members, at times, did not remain entirely convinced by the approaches taken in both articles, the thought-provoking and insightful discussion prompted by their subject matter was welcomed and valued by all.
This blog was written by Lynsey Black, Kate O’Hara and Colette Barry.