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A Report By Mother Jones Reporter Shane Bauer Essay

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A June 2016 report by Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer, who worked as a prison guard for four months to research his article, says that one fifth of prison inmates have been physically assaulted by another prisoner or a guard. Between 3% and 9% of male inmates say they have been sexually assaulted behind bars suggesting that up to 180,000 current inmates may have been sexually assaulted of which only 8,800 cases have been officially reported. Women, who form 7% of the total prison population, have higher figures for sexual victimization. Some 22% of all cases of inmate-on-inmate and 33% of staff-on-inmate sexual assaults are on women (Bauer, 2016). Until the early 1970s, the sentencing of crime convicts was based on the principle of rehabilitation of juvenile and adult offenders. Legislatures set maximum authorized sentences for various types of crimes and judges decided on the prison term or probation or fines. Correctional officials and parole boards had the powers to reduce the time served for good behavior and release prisoners early. In the 1980s and 1990s, the emphasis shifted to deterrence by imposing mandatory minimum sentences for certain types of crime, heavier sentences for habitual offenders and the “three-strike” rule for felony convictions. Public opinion supported these changes in the belief that prison terms were just retribution for crimes and incarceration kept criminals off the streets (Mackenzie, 2001). These changes have led to the US
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