The Prison Rape Stories

            Authors can use strong language to emotionally control a reader's thoughts, ideas, and responses to his or her work. Most times, they go against the general values of a society, hoping to elicit a strong poignant reaction from their readers. Christian Parenti is no exception. His third section of Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis is filled with gut-wrenching and often horrific accounts of prisoner treatment by the guards, lawyers, courts, and the government. Page 187, filled with prison rape stories, pimping deals, and "slaveoracy” is one of those emotionally charged sections.

             Rape is a value that affects society as a whole. It causes shame not only to the person raped, but it also shames society as a whole. The entire page describes ghastly ideas that prison administrators have regarding prison (male to male) rape. James Dunn gives perhaps the most horrific example to reporter Wilbert Rideau when he says, "Everything and everybody in here worked to keep you a whore - even the prison. If a whore went to the authorities, all they'd do is tell you that since you already a whore, they couldn't do nothing for you, and for you to go back to the dorm and settle down and be a good old lady.” Another disturbing example comes towards the end of the page where a former Louisiana corrections officer speaks of prison administrators using rape as a means of control. "There are prison administrators who use inmate gangs to help manage prison. Sex and human bodies become the coin of the realm. Is inmate 'X' writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper.'Well, Joe, you and Willie and Hank work him over.if you do a good job, I'll see that you get the blondest boy in the next shipment.'” Society is based on treating your fellow man equally. The bargaining of men, especially prisoners, by the prison administrators or those in power, instills shame in society, not only for the prison administrators, but also for those people who overlook it.

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