BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  A-Z Topic List
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Publication & Product Detail
Publication Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09

Allen J. Beck, Ph.D., Paige M. Harrison

August 26, 2010    NCJ 231169

Presents data from the National Inmate Survey (NIS), 2008-09, conducted in 167 state and federal prisons, 286 local jails, and 10 special correctional facilities (operated by U.S. Armed Forces, Indian tribes, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)) between October 2008 and December 2009, with a sample of 81,566 inmates ages 18 or older.   The report provides a listing of facilities ranked according to the prevalence of sexual victimization, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The prevalence of victimization as reported by inmates during a personal interview is based on sexual activity in the 12 months prior to the interview or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months. Included are estimates of nonconsensual sexual acts, abusive sexual contacts, inmate-on-inmate and staff sexual misconduct, and level of coercion. The report also presents findings on reported sexual victimization by selected characteristics of inmates, including demographic characteristics, sexual history and orientation, and criminal justice status. It includes details on victims’ experiences and the circumstances surrounding incidents of sexual victimization.


  • An estimated 4.4% of prison inmates and 3.1% of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in the past 12 months or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months.
  • Female inmates in prison (4.7%) or jail (3.1%) were more than twice as likely as male inmates in prison (1.9%) or jail (1.3%) to report experiencing inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization.
  • Among inmates who reported inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization, 13% of male prison inmates and 19% of male jail inmates said they were victimized within the first 24 hours after admission, compared to 4% of female inmates in prison and jail.

Press Release
PDF (1.1M)
ASCII file (92K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 98K)

Help for using BJS products

About the Source Data
National Inmate Survey (NIS)

To cite this product, use the following link:

View All Publications and Products

Back to Top