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Publication Sexual Victimization Reported by Adult Correctional Authorities, 2012-15

Ramona R. Rantala, BJS Statistician

July 25, 2018    NCJ 251146

Presents data on allegations and substantiated incidents of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual victimization reported to correctional authorities in prisons, jails, and other adult correctional facilities for each year from 2012 through 2015. Sexual victimization includes nonconsensual sexual acts, abusive sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and inmate or staff sexual harassment. Companion tables in the Survey of Sexual Victimization in Adult Correctional Facilities 2012-15 - Statistical Tables will include counts of sexual victimization reported by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, state prison systems, and large jail jurisdictions. Data are from BJS's Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV, formerly the Survey of Sexual Violence), which has annually collected official records on inmate sexual victimization since 2004.


  • Correctional administrators reported 24,661 allegations of sexual victimization in 2015, nearly triple the number recorded in 2011 (8,768).
  • The increase in allegations of sexual victimization from 2011 to 2015 coincided with the release in 2012 of the National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape.
  • In 2015, an estimated 1,473 allegations were substantiated (determined to have occurred), up 63% from the 902 substantiated in 2011.
  • Fifty-eight percent of substantiated incidents of sexual victimization in 2015 were perpetrated by inmates, while 42% were perpetrated by staff members.
  • The number of allegations in prisons increased from 6,660 in 2011 to 18,666 in 2015 (up 180%).
  • During the 3-year aggregated period of 2013-15, there were an estimated 15,875 allegations of inmate-on-inmate sexual harassment, of which 2,426 (16%) were substantiated based on completed investigations.

Part of the PREA Publications Series

Press Release (98K)
Summary (PDF 188K)
Full report (PDF 443K)
Data Tables (Zip format 21K)

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Survey of Sexual Victimization (SSV) (Formerly Survey of Sexual Violence)

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