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Miranda Ortiz

Professor Jessica Alzen


ENG123-DE Intermediate Composition
31 January 2016
Research Project Proposal
Sexual victimization in prison is a problem within our legal system that unfortunately
goes unnoticed far more often than it should. It tends to be an uncomfortable or even taboo
subject which causes people to not want to bring it up. However, when researched it is easy to
find out exactly why this is such a problem for not only the women being victimized but also
American citizens as a whole. Being victimized already comes with a number of problems that
can potentially follow someone in their life way past the actual incident. Specifically dealing
with the issue of victimization in prison has been known to and can lead to the development of
mental health issues. A few of the most common mental disorders that can develop are posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. In the correctional system a few preventative
measures have been taken in hopes of being able to lessen to amount of sexual abuse in prison.
However, there are many faults within the system because the prison staff contributes to the
problem. This issue occurs in both male and female correctional facilities. While victims of
sexual abuse are directly being affected by this, it also indirectly affects society. When someone
who is sexually abused develops a mental disorder it very seldom gets cured. If it does get
handled it is a very long and most often brutal road to recovery. This can have an effect on how
they handle everyday situations.

This issue should be important to society for multiple reasons. For example, PTSD can
prompt people to lash out, depression can lead to an increase in suicides, and anxiety can affect
personal interactions with others. These are all negative things that society should try to improve.
It would be beneficial for the victims and society if sexual victimization in prisons and jails was
eliminated completely. The government controls how the correctional system works thus it is for
them to decide how or if they are going to make long term improvements. Depending on how
important the government views an issue is how they decide which problems deserve to be fixed.
Sexual victimization happens in prisons between inmate-on-inmate, and between inmate and
staff member. The safety issue is not only between the inmates but also between the staff
members who were hired to protect them. The difficulty lays between how to protect them from
each other, and from guards.
The narration for the research project will consist of why it is important for our
government to find a solution to the sexual victimization of prisoners. This will be the
introduction to the problem, and the explanation of how it came to be. The argument on why it is
important will begin in this portion of the essay. By delivering the facts about this topic the goal
is to give a better understanding to the reader. This argument should help to persuade the
audience to agree with the need for a solution. There have been different legal acts to try to
eliminate sexual victimization in the prison system. However, it has not been solved as a whole
thus it continues to take place. In this part of the essay information on the Prison Rape
Elimination Act of 2003 will be introduced.
The division of the argument is between the organizations for it and sources against it.
This is supposed to provide what is important about the issue, and why it is important to improve

it. Different points of the argument will be addressed in this section of the research project.
There are a few points of argument such as why addressing this issue should take precedence
over other issues in the prison system, and how changing it can make a bigger difference than
making other changes would. In the prison system it is not necessarily that large majority is
against improving this problem but that they are not seeking treatment strategies for the prisoners
who have already been affected by sexual abuse.
The proof given within the essay is the backing to this argument. This is where solid
information is provided to prove that it is important to change prison safety for incarcerated men
and women. This will be giving detail about the issue, and the severity of the issue. The proof
should support the argument of why sexual victimization in prisons is unacceptable. By this
point in the essay the information should have the reader developing their opinion about whether
or not it is worth it to change the safety for prisoners. Supported sources will be supplied in these
portion of the essay to give factual evidence to the reader. The three main points of this will be
what the government had done to change this issue, how much it has changed so far, and why
more should be done for these solutions to progress.
The refutation section of the essay is where the opinion on the opposing side will be
acknowledged, and persuasion against that opinion will happen. It will try to turn the opposing
opinion around. This can be done by explaining the reasons of why the opinion against changing
prison safety is wrong. The challenge among the opposing side is that the government has
attempted to eliminate the problem without acknowledging those who have already gone through
sexual abuse in prisons or jails.

The peroration this will conclude the argument with the final reasons of why this should
be a top priority. It will finalize the topic with an approach that makes the reader consider
different aspects of sexual victimization, and how it could be changed. It will pull all of the
provided information together. The last arguing points will be about the treatment that should be
offered, the prevention that should occur, and how this will change the prison system for the
better.
Sources that will be incorporated into the research project.

National Institute of Justice - http://www.nij.gov/journals/259/pages/prison-rape.aspx


Heritage - http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/02/reconsidering-mandatory-

minimum-sentences-the-arguments-for-and-against-potential-reforms
Medical University of South Carolina - https://mainweb-

v.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/sa.shtml
Office of Justice Programs - http://ojp.gov/reviewpanel/pdfs/prea_finalreport_2012.pdf
National Center for Biotechnology Information -

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811043/
National Center for Biotechnology Information -

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64145/
Northwestern University School of Law Scholarly Commons http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?

article=7437&context=jclc
Bureau of Justice Statistics - http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=20
Bureau of Justice Statistics - http://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svrfsp08.pdf
Bureau of Justice Statistics - http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhtip.pdf
the Law Journals and Related Materials at Berkeley Law Scholarship Repository -

http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1322&context=bglj
Bureau of Justice Statistics - http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?
article=1322&context=bglj

Office of the Federal Register - https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/06/20/201212427/national-standards-to-prevent-detect-and-respond-to-prison-rape