"Under international law, rape of an inmate by staff is considered to be torture. Other forms of sexual abuse violate the internationally recognized prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Rape and sexual assault violate US federal and state criminal laws. In addition, 36 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government have laws specifically prohibiting sexual relations between staff and inmates. A number of the laws prohibit staff-inmate sexual contact regardless of inmate consent, recognizing that such sexual relations cannot be truly consensual because of the power that staff have over inmates. Fourteen states do not have laws criminalizing sexual relations between staff and inmates.(7)"


Amnesty International, "Not Part of My Sentence: Violations of the Human Rights of Women in Custody" (Washington, DC: Amnesty International, March 1999).