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In addition, as noted below, some inmates may not report sexual abuse because they receive unauthorized privileges or contraband in exchange for the sexual acts. The NIC also has provided law enforcement agencies on site technical assistance with operations, policies, training, and techniques for addressing staff sexual misconduct with inmates. Second, inmates may try to use sex to compromise staff and obtain contraband or unauthorized privileges, which can compromise the safety and security of a prison.
In September 2003, Congress passed The Prisoner Rape Elimination Act, a law that addresses various issues related to the sexual abuse of inmates in prison. It is important to note that consent is never a legal defense for corrections staff who engage in sexual acts with inmates. Third, either knowingly or unknowingly, staff members who engage in sex with inmates may be exploiting inmates vulnerabilities or past sexual abuse.
Finally, it sets forth our recommendations regarding changes in federal criminal law that we believe are needed to provide greater deterrence of staff sexual abuse of federal inmates.
We also surveyed OIG investigators who have substantial experience conducting investigations of staff sexual abuse of federal prisoners.
In addition, we reviewed state laws on staff sexual abuse; court cases; and literature published by organizations, academics, journalists, and government agencies, including the BOP, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the United Nations (U. Further, we interviewed various BOP officials about this issue, including former BOP Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer; the former BOP General Counsel; the former BOP Chief of Internal Affairs; BOP Office of Internal Affairs investigators; and an official from the BOPs Human Resources Management Division.
At the conference, we heard presentations from four Wardens of FCC facilities, a sexual abuse case polygrapher, and a forensic scientist who works sexual abuse cases.
We also attended a second BOP conference in Washington, D. where we discussed the problem of staff sexual abuse with Wardens from six BOP institutions that housed women.