Young boys who are sentenced to a juvenile detention center are there to reform and learn that crime does not pay. But what happens when they are shown otherwise as they are sexually victimized, and the perpetrator remains unpunished and undisciplined? And why is it happening so often? A recent study from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics unveiled the alarming frequency but, unfortunately, we still do not have all the answers.
Sex Abuse Allegations in Detention Centers Have Doubled
According to various reports, the number of juveniles placed in detention centers has decreased. Yet, after analyzing data collected from the administrators of more than 1,400 state, local, and private juvenile detention centers, researchers determined that the rate of sex abuse allegations against guards and other staff members has doubled. In fact, the report indicated that, between 2007 and 2014, some 10 percent of children have reported sexual abuse while serving time.
Consequences Lacking for Confirmed Offenders
The allegations themselves are disturbing enough, but it is downright appalling that administrators have habitually of downplayed the allegations against staff members. Some suggest that children may have fabricated claims of abuse or misunderstood the survey, but experts believe that fear of retaliation is more likely to result in underreporting than false allegations. And rightly so, it would seem, since, according to the study, most abusers go largely unpunished for their actions.
Of those found to have abused the children under their care, only 36 percent were referred to the authorities for possible criminal prosecution. Only 16 percent were ever arrested. And a shocking 20 percent were allowed to keep their jobs, despite the confirmation of sexual abuse. In some cases, administrators allegedly excused this by saying the teens “appeared to be willing,” possibly because around 64 percent of abuse cases involved male victims and female abusers. However, this line of thinking not only overlooks the overt abuse of power, but also minimizes the trauma of the victim.
Sexual Abuse is Harmful to All Victims of All Ages
Regardless of the gender of the victim or offender, or the age at which sexual abuse occurs, the damage is often life-long with physical, emotional, and psychological effects. Most realize that they may pursue criminal charges, but few are aware that they may also be able to seek monetary compensation for the acts committed against them. However, because these cases are extremely sensitive and often triggering for both victims and their families, the assistance of a skilled attorney is highly advised.
The lawyers at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. provide compassionate services to sexual abuse victims and work aggressively to pursue justice and fair recovery for both the physical and unseen injuries caused by abusers. We will stand by you, help you find the strength you need, and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Take the first step by contacting our experienced Kane County personal injury attorneys for a free initial consultation. Call 630-907-0909 today.