"One Time I Was Detained"


Young male survivors fear being detected, detained and processed in juvenile justice and immigration detention centers, where they are often not separated from adult males and are denied access to appropriate and consistent medical care, programs that alleviate their significant trauma, and legal counsel and representation that ensures their  best interests are served.


“One time I was detained. I had to do sex work. The cops beat me up and took me to the jail. Men were throwing up in a room and they were drunk and throwing up on the floor and it had a drain in it where the throw up went. It smelled really, really bad. They make you be naked and they finger fuck you. They shave your head. They beat you bad. They noked my toth out. They will not let you go. The food will make you sick. If you have HIV they will not give you nothing. Girl gards will come and they want to know if you have drugs so they finger fuck you again. They will see your hole and your dick. They will have spray and they will spray you in the face and it will burn your eyes if you fite them. They can no way make me go back there and I will hang myself. If they come and say you are going to jail again I will stab my neck with a nife. I hate cops and I hate gards and I hate jail. Pleze pleze do not let them get me or my friends. I mean it. The end” (12 yrs old).


When sexually abused and sexually exploited, documented and undocumented, young males live underground to avoid detection from law enforcement agencies, they do not live segregated lives. They take non-prescription drugs to better endure the physical and psychological trauma associated with lack of appropriate and consistent food, shelter and pain relief, and they share their stories and survival knowledge.


"it's better to take my chances on the street and get paid for being beaten and raped, and get needle-high to take the edge off the pain. one time i was in detention. they fucked me day and night in there. i told them I have HIV but they don't care" (12 year old).



U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity (2012). 


The U.S. Government aims to achieve within targeted subpopulations: 1) The percentage of children who experience violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect is reduced. 2) The percentage of children who receive appropriate care and protection after experiencing violence, exploitation, abuse, or neglect is increased. 3) The percentage of target population that views violence, exploitation, abuse, or neglect of children as less acceptable after participating in or being exposed to U.S. Government programming is increased. 4) The percentage of countries that ratify and implement relevant conventions or formally adopt internationally recognized principles, standards, and procedural safeguards to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect is increased.


For instance... 

a) The United States of America has still not ratified the United Nation's CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (1989). 

The USA has, however,
signed this UN Convention. 


Where the United States has signed but not ratified a treaty, it is obligated not to act contrary to the purpose of the convention under Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (a separate treaty governing treaty interpretation and adherence that the United States has ratified). Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties art. 18, May 23, 1969, 1155 U.N.T.S. 331, 336 (entered into force on Jan., 27, 1980); see also Jean Koh Peters, How Children Are Heard in Child Protective Proceedings, in the United States and around the World in 2005: Survey Findings, Initial Observations, and Areas for Further Study, 6 NEV. L.J. 966, 969 (2006).


b) The USA also ratified the Convention's optional protocol on the SALE OF CHILDREN, CHILD PROSTITUTION AND CHILD PORNOGRAPHY in 2001. This optional protocol charges the USA with providing the children (under 18 year olds) with legal counsel & legal representation, healthcare, trauma therapy and a safe haven.  ***In 2017, the USA still has no Federal or Coordinated response that serves the best interest of children whose lives fall under the remit of this optional protocol and who happen to find themselves living in US Territories. 



My Tricks All Have Big cars. A poem by Miguel (14)

My tricks all like showing off. Driving big car tricks. Big Cock Daddy for his little boy. You want to put your tongue you Big Daddy in my shit hole will cost you twenty bucks.

You want me to shit in your mouth will cost you a hundred. The cops said I beat one trick up pretty bad. But if you eat my shit and you do not pay me I am going to beat you up Big Car Daddy. You want to suck my titty will cost you one whole dollar.

I only eat shit if Daddy gets me needle high. You do not taste it then.

I piss on you will cost you fifty bucks. Your car will smell like pee. I gotta calculator running inside my head like the nurses have when you go the ER with like some pimp has broke your bones. Clicking off the numbers you will owe them.

You wanna come in my mouth will cost you seventy-five dollars upfront. You wanna cum in my hole will cost you an ounce of coke. I am supposed to be impressed by Daddy and his big old car.

But all dicks taste the same to me. I don’t own a car. You gotta be careful with the tricks cuz after they cum they want you out of there. They throw me out. And then they burn rubber out of there. Sometimes I wonder what kind of houses they live in.

All I know is that the houses must be big. You gotta big house and a big car and a heart smaller than my left tit in a deep freeze.



Our brains seek out, collect, and analyze countless cues in any given interaction, which all add up and tell us—consciously or no—who is lying, who is dangerous, and what action we should take. This almost-instantaneous set of calculations can save our lives in a crisis. 


The inclusion of distinct type of "evidence" as a marker of "truth” in a court of law, has influenced the culture of response across professions to information shared by survivors. Even the repetition of distinct experiences and knowledge expressed in survivor art and poetry, which create a replicable marker that the best interests of sexually abused and sexually exploited young males (documented and undocumented) are not being served, is overlooked within professional communities seeking a greater understanding of the extent of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation experienced by young males, and how to best provide an humane and meaningful response.


Medical-Legal Certificate:


As a medical organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has a clear role in issuing medical-legal certificates to victims of sexual violence. The medical-legal certificate can constitute important evidence in court – sometimes the only evidence beyond the victim’s own words. Even in conflict situations, where immediate legal action is impossible due to the collapse of judicial systems, patients still have the right to medical-legal certificates, as they may decide to pursue legal action once the conflict is over. (SHATTERED LIVES: Immediate medical care vital for sexual violence victims. A report by Médecins Sans Frontières. March 2009).


The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has not reported all allegations of sexual abuse and assault that were made in their immigrant detention facilities to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a 2013 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).


Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)


The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), which led to the publishing of standards for the elimination of prison rape that became effective in 2012, has been a strong impetus for ICE to create a new set of standards.


ICE, which oversees the largest civil detention system in the U.S., with detainees from almost 200 countries. The vast majority of detainees are held in county or city jails or in private facilities not run directly ICE. **These private facilities will not be bound by ICE’s finalized PREA regulations until each facility’s contracts are renewed; some of the contracts will not be renewed for five to 20 years or will renew automatically without negotiation.


Immigration detainees may hesitate to report sexual abuse and assaults by staff because they are being held by the same agency that has the power to deport them -- resulting in a fear of retaliatory deportation.


Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV) 

PREA Data Collection Activities, 2017

The Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV), formerly known as the Survey of Sexual Violence, collects data annually from administrative records on incidents of sexual victimization in adult and juvenile correctional facilities.  The first of a series of data collections implemented to meet PREA mandates, this collection began in 2004.  The survey includes measures of  five different types of sexual victimization and is administered to a sample of at least 10% of all correctional facilities covered under PREA. It gathers information on allegations and substantiated incidents that occur each calendar year.

During 2016-17, BJS and the U.S. Census Bureau completed data collection for the 2015 reference year. BJS received data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, 49 state departments of corrections, and all state juvenile justice agencies. Among the 700 sampled local jails, five refused to or did not respond to the survey. Among the 291 sampled privately operated prisons and jails, adult jails in Indian country, and facilities operated by the U.S. military or ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement], five refused or did not respond. Among the 549 sampled local or privately operated juvenile facilities and juvenile facilities in Indian country, six refused or did not respond. Overall, the 2015 SSV achieved a 99% response rate from agencies and sampled facilities known to be in operation at the time of the survey.

Results from the SSV for adult prisons and jails and facilities operated by the U.S. military and ICE are expected to be released by year end 2017. Results for state juvenile facilities and local or privately operated juvenile facilities are expected to be released by year end 2018.


Private Prison Information Act (PPIA)


Currently the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does not apply to privately-operated prisons.


Advocates want private prisons subject to open records laws

Government accountability advocates have called for private prison companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group to be subject to open records laws – including the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – to ensure they are accountable to the public. This is especially important considering that private prison contracts are paid with public taxpayer funds. The CCA and GEO are getting upwards of 40% of their revenue from federal sources.


The Migration Policy Institute found that the budget for ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] ballooned by 87% since 2005, mostly as a result of “Operation Streamline,” a policy that forces undocumented migrants through the federal criminal justice system and into U.S. prisons, instead of routing non-violent individuals caught “crossing the border” into civil deportation proceedings.


Request made by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).


In 2010, NIJC filed a FOIA request seeking information about children held in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody. Pursuant to litigation filed on behalf of NIJC, DHS eventually released information regarding children detained at 30 specified adult detention facilities, including the age range and length of detention for each child. The data reveals that from 2008 to 2012, DHS detained at least 1,366 children in adult detention facilities throughout the United States. The data likely underreports how many children were affected because the terms of the legal settlement limited the scope to only 30 of the approximately 250 adult detention facilities with which DHS held contracts at the time.


PREA Data Collection Activities, 2017

The Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV), formerly known as the Survey of Sexual Violence.

  • „In male-only juvenile facilities, 5.7% of youth reported staff sexual misconduct, compared to 1.4% in female- only facilities.

  • „Facilities with a change in staffing levels during the previous 12 months (7.1%) had higher rates of staff sexual misconduct than facilities with no change (3.1%).

  • „Rates of staff sexual misconduct were highest in facilities where youth perceived the facility staff to be unfair (10.3%), youth had the fewest positive perceptions of staff (9.7%), and youth worried about physical assault by other youth (8.2%) or staff (11.2%).

  • „In facilities where the majority of youth reported gang fights, the rate of staff sexual misconduct (10.6%) was more than double the facility average (5.2%). 

  • Youth-on-youth sexual assault was most prevalent (4.5%) when facilities had a high concentration of youth with histories of sexual abuse (24.0% or more of youth), a concentration of lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) youth (5.0% in facilities with 18% or more of LGB youth), and a greater-than-average proportion of youth held for violent sexual assault (3.3%).

    „Sexual assault by another youth (4.0%) was more common in facilities that held greater concentrations of youth with a history of psychiatric conditions (76% or more of youth).

    „Staff sexual misconduct was reported by 5.9% of youth in facilities with multiple living units, compared to 2.1% of youth in facilities with single units.

    „Staff sexual misconduct was most prevalent in detention centers (7.4%) and training/long-term secure facilities (7.3%). It was lowest in residential treatment centers (3.1%) and nonstate-operated facilities (3.1%). 


The Impact and Recovery of Prisoner Rape by Robert W. Dumond (A paper presented at the National Conference “Not Part of the Penalty”: Ending Prisoner Rape in Washington, D.C., October 19, 2001). extract

In situations of captivity, the perpetrator(s) often becomes the most important person in the life of the victim. Ironically, as noted by Mariner (2001), sexual victims may be coerced, threatened and intimated into long-term sexual slavery and continuous degradation in order simply to survive. Over time, the perpetrator's actions and beliefs profoundly influence the psychology of the victim (Herman, 1992). Especially in incarcerated settings, victims may experience a systematic, repetitive infliction of psychological trauma, as well as the continuation of terror, helplessness, fear and lack of autonomy.

In addition to the ravages of prison, male sexual assault victims face additional humiliation, which further complicates their potential for recovery. Dumond (1992) reviewed nine (9) key studies which examined the impact of sexual victimization upon males in particular. The vast majority of these studies were conducted in prison/incarceration settings, since few male victims report such abuse in community life. Male victims of sexual assault experience not only the more traditional "rape trauma syndrome" as described by Burgess and Holmstrom (1974, 1975), with its concurrent features of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but also a number of other issues which exacerbate the victimization experience (Anderson, 1981; Calderwood, 1987; Mezey & King, 1989).

The “rape trauma syndrome” identified that rape victims can manifest two (2) response styles: “expressive” and “controlled” (Burgess and Holmstrom, 1974a, 1974b). Kaufman, Divasto, Jackson, Voorhees & Christy (1980) noted that 79% of the men sexually assaulted in the community manifested a “controlled” response, characterized by being calm, controlled and/or subdued. This can be very deceptive to correctional staff, who may assume that the overwhelming crisis of a rape should precipitate a more “expressive” response. These staff may subsequently interpret a subdued, emotionless response as evidence that a forced sexual assault did not take place. However, given the dynamics of the prison subculture, and the emphasis on control, aggression and masculinity, it is entirely consistent that most male rape victims in incarcerated settings would be guarded in their overt manifestation of trauma (Wooden & Parker, 1982; Donaldson, 1993).


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