News

Arizona Juvenile Facilities Report High Sex Activity With Staff; State Above Average for Incidents in National Survey

Arizona State Government
Adam Henning, principal at Adobe Mountain School

​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.

 

As New Times recently reported, sexual misconduct isn't the only problem at Arizona's juvenile facilities. And the problems have been going on for years, as New Times readers should know.

Maybe, someday, someone will start caring about these kids.

Click here for the government's survey in PDF format.

 

  

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.