Sexual Harassment By Prison Staff

While I recognize sexual assault, I admit that I'm not exactly certain of what constitutes sexual harassment. I am, however, certain that during the past ten years as the nutty political conservatives have garnered their oppressive power, obsession with sex has become an abiding mania. What is more characteristic of the Republican philosophy that obsession with oppressing the poor, obsession with money and a fanatic obsession all things sexual; it's the Republican dictum, "I can screw you, but you can't screw anybody."

Within the Pennsylvania prison system, the obsessions are pretty much the same: oppression, money and sex, but the prisons have added dishonesty and hypocrisy to the mix. The essential of the Department of Corrections ("DOC") and the Parole Board is that you can't believe a word they say. They are simply liars! To make their lies more effective, the DOC are hypocrites. They pretend one thing while doing another. This is no place more true than in sexual matters.

But I digress. Let me get to my stories; first a young white prisoner slaving in the messhall at the Smithfield state prison in Huntingdon County in Central Pennsylvania.

I won't use the young man's name because he's already been punished enough. I'll call him Prat. I won't even go into Gary Scott, the guy who runs the kitchen and messhall at the prison. I'll just refer you to the second paragraph above.

For a few pennies a day, Prat toiled in the prison messhall. One of his tasks was to serve the swill from the grimy metal troughs onto prisoners' trays as a line of the sullen diners shuffled past. As Prat leaned into his assigned chore, a member of the kitchen staff (I'll refrain from identifying him by name) passed behind the prisoner. Repeatedly, the staff member fondled the prisoner's rump.

After enduring the sexual assaults for a while, Prat deigned to protest. The young man felt that he shouldn't have to endure having another man, even a guard, rubbing up against his butt.

One of the DOC's hypocritical policies is Directive 004*. This piece of prison phoniness provides that a prisoner may bring criminal charges against another prisoner, or even against a member of the prison staff. Of course, all prisoners recognize that it's just window dressing. No prisoner was actually going to be allowed to report a guard to the cops.

Poor Prat, not the brightest of young men, insisted to see the State Police as the Directive provides. He insisted that he wanted to lodge a criminal complaint for sexual harassment. In my view, it was sexual assault, but be that as it may, you can certainly guess what happened next.

Prat was promptly given a "write- up" and tossed into the prison hole. The horny (if limp-wristed) staff member was commended for having stood up to the challenge. A pretty prisoner's tail was fair game for any member of the staff with that kind of deviant interests.

Same prison, same messhall, different day, different staff member; this time a non-male (but not quite a female) employee. I'll call her Miss Kandie, a woman with serious "issues." A prisoner was toiling over the steaming tray-washing machine. Not realizing that the notorious Miss Kandie was skulking around, the prisoner tucked his shirttail into his pants. Miss Kandie instantly had him thrown into the hole for "sexual harassment." She claimed that the man had the impertinence to touch certain areas of his body - not of her body, but of his own body. That's sexual harassment.

Same Miss Kandie, different day, different victim; the prisoner (a male with no doubt normal male interest) looked across the kitchen in the direction of Miss Kandie (about whom there is very little which is "normal"). She had him slapped into the prison hole for "sexual harassment" for looking at her. Prisoners call it wreckless eyeballing," oogling.

Same kitchen, but now the accusers are prisoners, pets of the staff. Not liking a fellow prisoner, two inmates working in positions of trust in the kitchen concocted a story that their enemy was sexually harassing a female member of the kitchen staff, a friendly, good natured woman who may have been a bit naive about the libidos of men who've been deprived of women for ten, twenty or thirty years. Like most of the supposed offenses at the Smithfield prison, the allegation was false. No matter, the accused prisoner was fired and deprived of the few pennies he'd been earning to buy personal necessities.

But not all prison sexual harassment involves the prisoners. Take the instance of the prison administrator who took his mistress along with him when he was promoted. The mistress, a so-called prison counselor, as well as a floozy, grew bored with her boss' ardent attentions. He was charged with sexual harassment. The man was booted out of his executive job, the floozy kept her job and a new boyfriend.

There are countless similar cases, like the member of the prison recreational staff fired for "sexual" remarks to a female member of the staff; apparently some compliment which a few years ago would have warranted a "thank you." But our interest is with the sexual obsession and the hypocrisy of the DOC toward prisoners. Prison regulations claim that when a prisoner is sexually assaulted (or harassed) by the staff, he can make a criminal complaint. Don't you believe it!


  1. Almost 1000 Pennsylvania state prisoners have HIV. About 75 of those infected are women. Of those infected, about 250 actually have AIDS. Except for so-called natural causes, AIDS kills more prisoners than all other causes combined. About 125 Pennsylvania prisoners have already died from the disease.

    These numbers are significant because some infected persons are intimately sharing double cells with other prisoners. All the infected prisoners have daily contact with non-medical prison staff.

    In addition to those in state prisons, about 950 prisoners in Pennsylvania's county jails have HIV including 220 in Philadelphia County. About 50 prisoners in county jails have already died from the disease.

    The great majority of those who are infected are blacks. While the disease was most frequently contacted through homosexual and sexual contacts, some cases are traced to intervenus drug use and even tattooing.

    All the 1900 infected prisoners are expected to die.


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