skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 206209 Find in a Library
Title: Prisoners as Victims of Crime: The Victimization of (Young) Offenders in Prison Establishments--Recent Results From Germany (From Policing in Central and Eastern Europe: Deviance, Violence, and Victimization, P 413-429, 2002, Milan Pagon, ed. -- See NCJ-206198)
Author(s): Helmut Kury
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: College of Police and Security Studies
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Sale Source: College of Police and Security Studies
Type: Literature Review; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: Slovenia
Annotation: Following an overview of research on prisoner victimization in general and sexual assaults of inmates in particular, this paper reports the findings of research on victimization of youthful inmates in a German prison to test the hypothesis that certain categories of young offenders are not only more likely to become victims inside prison but also become victims of offenses similar to the ones they themselves have committed.
Abstract: Research on the victimization of inmates in various countries has found that inmates report a significant amount of physical attacks from other inmates; however, there is little official recognition of inmate victimization as a problem since records of such victimization are not generally kept. Research that has focused on male rape in prisons has produced varying results that are confusing and inconsistent. A number of studies have concluded that there is a rape crisis in prisons, but one study (Saum et al. (1995) reported that sexual assaults in prisons are mostly media hype. The current paper concludes that the main problem in ascertaining the prevalence of rape and sexual assaults inside prison is the fact this remains a taboo subject among inmates and staff, and recording and reporting practices in various countries differ significantly. Regarding sexual assaults in German prisons, Duerr's research with ex-prisoners found that a number stated they had been sexually assaulted by fellow inmates and even prison officers. Other German research has found that inmates live in fear of being sexually assaulted or otherwise physically attacked. Based in the belief that victimology has not, to date, sufficiently included the victimization of young prisoners, the current study examined prisoner-on-prisoner victimization in Germany's Hamlin Young Offender Institution. The focus was on young prisoners under the age of 14. The study explored the extent to which young offenders were victimized before imprisonment (i.e., before age 14) and the extent to which the young prisoners were victimized during their imprisonment. They were questioned about being victimized by theft, violent threats, actual physical threats, physical assault, and sexual assault. Some 79.8 percent of the participating inmates stated they had been victims of one or more of these offenses. Regarding assaults, 34.9 percent had been physically assaulted and 5.4 percent had been sexually assaulted. Regarding victimization prior to imprisonment, 41 percent of inmates with low violence potential had been victims of former serious physical threats; 70 percent of those with medium violence potential and 53 percent of those with serious violence potential had equally been victims of physical threats before imprisonment. About half of the interviewees had been victimized at least once during their imprisonment. The type of victimization in prison amounted to fewer than 10 percent of the victims own committed index offenses. This paper suggests that inmate-on-inmate victimization can best be addressed by reducing the prison population and involving inmates in effective rehabilitation programs. 1 table and 82 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile inmates
Index Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries; Foreign criminal justice research; Foreign inmates; Germany; Inmate personal security; Male sexual abuse victims; Prisoner sexual assault; Psychosexual behavior; Sexual assault victims; Victims of violent crime; Violent inmates
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.