Arizona's incarcerated juveniles are having sex with staff members at one of the highest rates in the country, according to a survey published by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In a survey of thousands of kids held in juvie halls across the United States, 10.3 percent reported some kind of sexual victimization by staff members. Another 2.6 percent reported being victimized by another youth. While no Arizona facility made the DOJ's list of the 13 worst offenders, the state's three juvenile prisons came shamefully close. In just about every category of offenses, the percentages of victimization in the state's three facilities were above average.
Nationally, the most frequent kind of sexual victimization involved a female staff member and male youth.
Here are a couple of the Arizona highlights:
* Inmates at Adobe Mountain reported a high rate of staff members forcing them to have sex. The weighted percentage of 11.2 of inmates reporting use of force by staff is the 11th highest of all facilities in that category.
* Survey participants at Catalina Mountain and the now-closed Eagle Point reported a very high overall number of sexual victimization: 23.8 percent and 23.5 percent respectively. (Adobe Mountain inmates reported 16.9 percent in this category). The average for this category is 12.1 percent, and only 14 of the 195 facilities reported a percentage of 24 or higher.
Maybe, someday, someone will start caring about these kids.
Click here for the government's survey in PDF format.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.