I came across this YouTube video, “Sexual Assault of Men Played for Laughs,” on my FB feed the other day. It’s about the shameful treatment of sexual violence against men in popular culture, and, as you might expect, prison rape is a recurring theme.
However, the video falls down, hard, when it gets around to saying what we should do about prison rape. Spoilers, Pop Culture Detective: The United States and its 50 state jurisdictions are not going to abolish the entire prison system in order to prevent prison rape.
The suggestion is almost worst than useless in that it implies that prison rape is inevitable. In fact it is not, and letting society off the hook like that is not terribly helpful. Here is a more detailed article about the Prison Rape Elimination Act. My take-away is that the act is pretty good, but they need to sunset the “assurance” phase (where states get to show how they’re going to fix their systems to avoid incurring financial penalties instead of proving that they have done so) sooner and extend the coverage to all incarceration facilities, not just state prisons.