snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Crime

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19 October 2007, 07:18 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,826
Fight Child molesters roughed up in prison?

Comment: I have heard for over 20 years that imprisoned male child molesters and
child murderers are harmed by other male prisoners in a sort of vigilante
justice. The men who have repeated this to me claim that child molesters
and anyone who harms a child is seen as the lowest of the low and thus is
"punished" by the other inmates.

Do you have any information attesting to the validity of this claim?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19 October 2007, 08:03 PM
Wild Redhead's Avatar
Wild Redhead Wild Redhead is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3,784
Default

I know three people that have done time in state prisons. All three have assured me this is very true. Child molesters are often kept away from general population for their own safety.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 20 October 2007, 12:10 AM
Venus Venus is offline
 
Join Date: 04 January 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 837
Default

Aren't rapists targeted as well?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 20 October 2007, 12:26 AM
rosa who else's Avatar
rosa who else rosa who else is offline
 
Join Date: 13 October 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 461
Default

Forive me, Father, for I am not politically correct, but .....

GOOOOOOOOOD.

So maybe prisons are a perverted microcosm of our society, but maybe those foks need to see what scum they are.

Sincerelly,
Rosa who will never be picked for jury service .....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 20 October 2007, 12:42 AM
wanderwoman's Avatar
wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2004
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 7,386
Default

Ok, this may be an unpopular opinion, but...

Isn't everybody "roughed up" in prison to some extent? Are child molesters really given harsher treatment?

I've seen this mentioned a lot, but never any objective evidence to back it up. Is there any real evidence that it's true?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 20 October 2007, 12:46 AM
Class Bravo
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
Isn't everybody "roughed up" in prison to some extent? Are child molesters really given harsher treatment?
Supposedly child molesters are roughed up much, much more than the general population as a form of vigilante justice.

One of my best friends is a deputy sheriff and his first duty was as a corrections officer (working in the jail). He once told me that it is true that child molesters (or "Chesters," in his cop lingo) are targeted mercilessly by other inmates. On the flip side, there was once a prisoner there who was a convicted cop killer and my friend told me that he was treated like a king by the other inmates.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 20 October 2007, 12:54 AM
wanderwoman's Avatar
wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2004
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 7,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Class Bravo View Post
Supposedly child molesters are roughed up much, much more than the general population as a form of vigilante justice.

One of my best friends is a deputy sheriff and his first duty was as a corrections officer (working in the jail). He once told me that it is true that child molesters (or "Chesters," in his cop lingo) are targeted mercilessly by other inmates. On the flip side, there was once a prisoner there who was a convicted cop killer and my friend told me that he was treated like a king by the other inmates.
I've always heard that about child molesters too, but never seen any evidence to support it. What if it's just an urban legend that fulfills people's desire for "natural justice"?

One of the things I know for sure about police is that they are far from immune to believing urban legends. Just like the rest of us. Those stories are designed to be satisfying.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 20 October 2007, 01:20 AM
effo5231's Avatar
effo5231 effo5231 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,632
Police

My evidence is anecdotal, but as a retired Corrections Officers I can assure you that it happens in at least one prison in one state. (House of Corrections in Maryland.)

Child predators may be targeted because of a sense of moral outrage on the part of the inmates, but I think its more likely done because they know they can. Who is less sympathetic than, to use the term inmates used, a "baby raper"?

I saw it happed twice, and I'd be lying if I said that every officer responded as fast as possible or either inmate recieved the harshest sentence possible. (Neither attacker faced criminal charges or substantial loss of privledges.)

ETA. When I say twice, I mean I personally witnessed attacks twice in the 3 months I was stationed at the House.

Last edited by effo5231; 20 October 2007 at 01:22 AM. Reason: clarification of frequency of beatings
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 20 October 2007, 01:33 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,826
Fight

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
I've always heard that about child molesters too, but never seen any evidence to support it. What if it's just an urban legend that fulfills people's desire for "natural justice"?
Indeed, what about convicts who have killed children? Shouldn't they come in for even rougher treatment?

- snopes
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 20 October 2007, 01:48 AM
effo5231's Avatar
effo5231 effo5231 is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2006
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,632
Icon05

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Indeed, what about convicts who have killed children? Shouldn't they come in for even rougher treatment?

- snopes
I guess the answer to that is that murder is murder, and while its reprehensbile and wrong, its simply an extreme version of something most inmates have done, which is to be violent.

Heck, most of US have at one time or another lost our temper or wits and struck something. Its not a far leap to go from I punched a wall to I punched a guy to I punched a guy repeatedly to I killed someone. I guess what I mean is that murder can simply be a consequence of perfectly normal human emotion. It seems sick I know, but I'm just spouting here.

Child molestation or rape on the other hand is not something which most of us ever feel tempted to do. There's no "That could have been me factor." like there might be with DUI or assault. I can forsee a situation where I hurt someone physically and thus commit a violent crime, I can't imagine ever wanting to touch a child like that.

To summarize, we've all felt the desire to bang someone's head against a wall even if we never felt the desire to act on that feeling. Few of us will ever feel the need to molest a child.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 20 October 2007, 02:43 AM
Malruhn Malruhn is offline
 
 
Join Date: 28 November 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 7,854
Default

As many of you recall, I was a cook in a Parish Jail in Louisiana for almost a year back in the early '80's. The trustees and inmates all assured me that it was true - to include a convicted child rapist.

However, now that I am thinking of it, I never once saw any evidence that it was true, other than apocryphal stories of FOAFs (AOAI?? Acquaintance of an Inmate?).
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 20 October 2007, 06:24 PM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 7,549
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Indeed, what about convicts who have killed children? Shouldn't they come in for even rougher treatment?

- snopes
There have been several reports that Ian Huntley, who killed two young girls in Soham in 2002, has been attacked in prison.

For example (BBC story)

Quote:
Child killer Ian Huntley has been attacked with boiling water by another inmate at the high security Wakefield Prison, in West Yorkshire.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 20 October 2007, 06:33 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,826
Icon402

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
There have been several reports that Ian Huntley, who killed two young girls in Soham in 2002, has been attacked in prison.
Lots of people have been attacked in prison, including a plethora whose crimes had nothing to do with children.

- snopes
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 20 October 2007, 08:28 PM
Ramblin' Dave's Avatar
Ramblin' Dave Ramblin' Dave is offline
 
Join Date: 11 May 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 13,120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosa who else View Post
Forive me, Father, for I am not politically correct, but .....

GOOOOOOOOOD.

So maybe prisons are a perverted microcosm of our society, but maybe those foks need to see what scum they are.
I am not unsympathetic to your point of view here...but lest we forget, there was an epidemic of false convictions of ritual abuse in daycare centers not so long ago. So some of those prisoners you're glad to hear are being beaten and raped on a daily basis are guilty of nothing worse than incredibly bad luck. Believe me, I feel no more sympathy than you do for the ones who really are guilty, but let's remember that some of them aren't.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 20 October 2007, 08:41 PM
Artemis's Avatar
Artemis Artemis is offline
 
Join Date: 08 October 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 6,891
Default

How would people know that you were a child molestor/rapist if you were in prison, though?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 21 October 2007, 12:08 AM
wanderwoman's Avatar
wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2004
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 7,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
I am not unsympathetic to your point of view here...but lest we forget, there was an epidemic of false convictions of ritual abuse in daycare centers not so long ago. So some of those prisoners you're glad to hear are being beaten and raped on a daily basis are guilty of nothing worse than incredibly bad luck. Believe me, I feel no more sympathy than you do for the ones who really are guilty, but let's remember that some of them aren't.
I understand your point, Dave, but I want to note that the last of the infamous badly-investigated ritual abuse cases seems to have occurred about 1995, 12 years ago - not all that recently. Since that tiime there have been great strides made in forensic investigation of child sexual abuse. Just a little plug to defend my profession.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 21 October 2007, 12:39 AM
Jahungo's Avatar
Jahungo Jahungo is offline
 
Join Date: 23 May 2007
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 5,287
Default

Here's a thought...most crimes that result in being put in a high-security prison or for a long sentence are violent crimes of some kind, and I bet that a lot of the offenders are pretty physically fit or at least able to defend themselves ably. Whereas I'm guessing many child molesters are not so much. The stereotypical child molester is a creepy middle aged white guy, not physically intimidating, and while obviously many child molestors would not fit this description, I'm guessing that child molesters are commonly "easy targets" in that they aren't very good at defending themselves.

You add in the fact that what they did is almost universally despised, even by other serious criminals, and they're the ideal target.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 21 October 2007, 04:00 AM
Mickey Blue's Avatar
Mickey Blue Mickey Blue is offline
 
Join Date: 01 February 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,577
Default

As with others, I've had many people who would be "in the know" tell me this, however that alone is not really evidence (Being anechdotal and all).

So, I'd say its fairly likely, but knowing that just because everybody belives something dosn't make it true I'll say there is certainly a real possibility that its just a myth.


-MB
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 21 October 2007, 11:08 AM
Dutch Angua's Avatar
Dutch Angua Dutch Angua is offline
 
Join Date: 01 April 2005
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Posts: 999
Default

My dad told me something like this happened in the prison nearby.
Apparently, a child molester accidentally soaked himself in gasoline (or some other flammable fluid) and it accidentally caught fire. Or that's what his fellow inmates claimed...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 21 October 2007, 12:32 PM
damian's Avatar
damian damian is offline
 
Join Date: 14 April 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 6,270
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
How would people know that you were a child molestor/rapist if you were in prison, though?
As explained to my a while ago by a friend who has done time, all new inmates are given a hard time to varying degrees by the "genpop". How they respond to this treatment is how they are classified by the rest of the inmates. A type of hazing, you might call it.

Once a crim has proved themselves staunch, they are generally left alone, regardless of the crime that (allegedly) put them there. Except the "kiddie fiddlers" (aka Rock Spiders). They tend to get rougher treatment than the rest, but again, if they prove themselves (eg. not running to the screws every time they are hurt) then they gain acceptance, also.

One of the big "crimes" an inmate can commit in prison is lying about what crimes they have committed. Inmates have a way of finding out everything. A Rock Spider may get bashed for several weeks, but it's worse for him if he lies and tells others he was a car thief or whatever.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.