>Users:   login   |  register       > email     > people    

Management of Sexually Abusive Behavior from Inmates toward Staff
By Dr. Susan Jones
Published: 04/03/2017

Incarceration The types of sexually abusive behaviors that inmates direct towards staff include verbal harassment, gesturing, exhibitionistic masturbation, and physical attacks. The management of this type of behavior from inmates towards staff can vary a great deal between jurisdictions. While all jurisdictions have mechanisms in place to deal with criminal physical attacks, other sexually abusive behaviors may not be as consistently addressed. In fact, the correctional culture may provide a level of acceptance for inmates who verbally harass staff, especially new staff. This type of hazing may be considered a part of the toughening up that is needed if a person is going to succeed in corrections work. The verbal harassment may not start out as sexually abusive, but based upon the lack of response, it may very well progress to that stage very quickly.

Another type of sexually abusive behavior that inmates may choose to direct towards staff is that of exhibitionistic masturbation. The corrections culture may accept this type of behavior as something that is just part of working in a prison. The message that goes along with this acceptance is often that this is the inmate’s house and they should be able to find this type of pleasure in their own house. What seems to get lost in this type of rhetoric is the fact that we are often not talking about someone that is discreetly masturbating for the sole purpose of pleasure. Exhibitionistic masturbation can include a variety of behaviors that take this way beyond an attempt to seek pleasure. Often inmates who engage in this sexually abusive behavior are doing so to intimidate, harass, and humiliate someone else.

The consequences of the acceptance of this type of behavior from inmates are rarely talked about in policy or in training. However, research has shown that inmates who are involved in exhibitionistic masturbation behavior, defined as indecent exposure, are more likely to be a threat to the community after release, even when compared to other inmates who are sex offenders. This type of research links the cultural acceptance of this behavior directly to an increased risk to the public, yet this is rarely acknowledged.

The second consequence of this behavior is that this type of behavior is usually directed at female employees and has been found to be a likely link to further manipulation of staff. With the current research available regarding boundary violations, this particular link should be a serious concern for corrections leaders.

So what is the best response to reduce or eliminate this type of behavior? The cultural acceptance of this behavior has often meant that we should just ignore the behavior but we know through research and experience that when sexually abusive behavior is ignored, it accelerates. When an inmate is not held accountable for his sexually abusive behavior, he sees it as a signal that more deviant and abusive behavior will also be accepted.

Past accepting and ignoring the behavior, some systems have been found to be supportive of the inmate’s right to abuse staff in this manner and have supported this decision by minimizing the effect of the behavior. The response that it is not harmful, or it is their right in their home (cell)--is often found in these systems. In more than one system the courts have found that this response is not defensible, i.e. Beckford v Department of Corrections, 2010 and Freitag v Ayers, 2006.

The only acceptable response to maintain a legally defensible environment that increases the professionalization of the environment and improves the safety of the public is to address this sexually abusive behavior each and every time it occurs. Addressing the behavior must also mean documenting the incidents, each time. The first step toward this change must begin with the willingness to stop the behavior. This may seem like an unnecessary thing to even say, but the reality is that we are working to change the inmate’s behavior, but more substantially, we are trying to change the culture.

Some systems have implemented a system of accountability that includes a formal disciplinary process and even referral for additional criminal charges. In other systems, additional measures have been taken to manage this behavior that includes: specific identification of repeat offenders or specific cell placement to avoid direct line of site to control rooms or officer stations. Some systems have even implemented specific clothing and program restrictions. In such a system, the consistent and methodical tracking to ensure that all cases are documented in the same manner can increase the likelihood that the behavior will be systematically addressed and that the behavior will be reduced.

While each of these types of steps may decrease the number of instances of this type of behavior, the main benefit is the message it sends to the inmates and the changes it makes to the accepted culture. These types of policy changes are often communicated to staff through training updates. It is in this role that the trainer becomes a primary change agent. The manner in which the training is provided and the style in which the information is communicated can make this an accepted transition or a change that is met with resistance. When corrections staff fully understand the impact upon the environment and the impact upon public safety, then the change can be more easily accepted. The “messenger” is often a critical component of this acceptance.

Further Reading: Beckford v. Department of Corrections (2010).
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), ARTICLE 25—Inmate Indecent Exposure and Sexual Disorderly Conduct Management, Effective-September 2007.
Cheeseman Dial, K., & Worley, R. (2008). Crossing the line: A quantitative analysis of inmate boundary violators in a southern prison system. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 33(1), 69-84.
Heil, P., Harrison, L., English, K., & Ahlmeyer, S. (September, 2009). Is prison seuxal offending indicative of community risk? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(9), 892-908.
Freitag v. Ayers 463 F. ed 838 (2006).
Worley, R. M., & Worley, V. V. (2013). Inmate public autoerotism uncovered: Exploring the dynamics of masturbatory behavior within correctional facilities. Deviant Behavior, 34(1), 855-868.

Dr. Susan Jones retired from a warden’s position within the Colorado Department of Corrections. She worked in a variety of corrections positions in Colorado for 31 years, including: community corrections, correctional officer, sergeant, lieutenant, manager, associate warden and warden. Dr. Jones research interests have focused on the issues that correctional employees face on a daily basis. Visit Dr. Jones's Facebook page "A Glimpse Behind the Fence".


  1. faizan on 05/23/2019:

    It's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information. drywall contractors

  2. faizan on 05/21/2019:

    In this particular article, you will see a summary, satisfy browse this post. voyance par telephone avis

  3. faizan on 05/20/2019:

    Hmm… I interpret blogs on a analogous issue, however i never visited your blog. I added it to populars also i’ll be your faithful primer. 바카라사이트

  4. faizan on 05/19/2019:

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention. оптимизация

  5. faizan on 05/13/2019:

    Frequently while I search the internet I try to find websites that supply reliable information so I found this site. I want to mention that I found the info in your web page has been particularly interesting and that I learned something new. We're certain to look for the next article.. Thank you for the good write-up I will revisit in the future. Fuel Prices Thailand

  6. faizan on 05/13/2019:

    I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. медиация

  7. faizan on 05/13/2019:

    The matter you we highlighted above is surely value able for anyone to workout. the concept of your article is very true and It will result in a positive way. климатици варна

  8. faizan on 05/13/2019:

    The best article I came across a number of years, write something about it on this page. хотели Пампорово

  9. faizan on 05/13/2019:

    I understand this column. I realize You put a many of struggle to found this story. I admire your process. детски стаи варна

  10. faizan on 05/12/2019:

    Any time you're exploring the web occasionally I find a web site this really is rather thought invoking such as this one. Happy that I discovered your website because I very much liked this and so I anticipate your future post. An excellent web site and i'll come back once more for more useful content… Akron Web Design

  11. faizan on 05/09/2019:

    Gurutoto adalah situs prediksi togel wap yang menyediakan berbagai prediksi wap berbagai pasaran dan 3 pasaran besar seperti wap sydney, wap sgp dan wap hk wap sgp

  12. paulruiz on 05/02/2019:

    I should say only that its awesome! The blog is informational and always produce amazing things. yeh un dinon ki baat hai serial

  13. paulruiz on 04/18/2019:

    This content is simply exciting and creative. I have been deciding on a institutional move and this has helped me with one aspect. rolling-meadows glass repair

  14. faizan on 04/11/2019:

    Your texts on this subject are correct, see how I wrote this site is really very good. endzone camera system

  15. faizan on 04/08/2019:

    Welcome to the party of my life here you will learn everything about me. Automotive SEO

  16. faizan on 04/08/2019:

    Cool you write, the information is very good and interesting, I'll give you a link to my site. SAP Lumira Certification Training

  17. faizan on 04/08/2019:

    On this page, you'll see my profile, please read this information. sports activities for kids

  18. faizan on 04/08/2019:

    I invite you to the page where see how much we have in common. python certification

  19. hendry on 04/01/2019:

    The management of sexually abusive behavior from Inmates towards staff. There's is several this type of issues is happening in our society. The police should take strict actions against this. The management behavior can vary Real Estate Image blending a great deal between jurisdictions. Thank you for being part of the site.

  20. faizan on 03/22/2019:

    I'm impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a blog thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog is important.. bestfitnessmonitor

  21. faizan on 03/20/2019:

    Why are you guys not worrying about anything that is here? I mean to say, that you need to worry more about celtic knot tree of life, if you can. It's what people are doing about it.

Login to let us know what you think

User Name:   


Forgot password?

correctsource logo

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of The Corrections Connection User Agreement
The Corrections Connection ©. Copyright 1996 - 2019 © . All Rights Reserved | 15 Mill Wharf Plaza Scituate Mass. 02066 (617) 471 4445 Fax: (617) 608 9015