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January 20, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Ohio Capital Journal Quotes Kaufman on Study of Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities

Dr. Nicole Kaufman, portrait

Dr. Nicole Kaufman

The Ohio Capital Journal quotes Dr. Nicole Kaufman in Nationwide study finds high ‘sexual victimization’ in Ohio, Dems and DeWine ask for more data.

Kaufman is Assistant Professor of Sociology and affiliated with the Center for Law, Justice & Culture at Ohio University.

“There is a strong incentive for anyone in custody not to report sexual abuse or assault in prison, whether on a survey or via another complaint to a staff member,” Kaufman said. “This disincentive to report is particularly high when people know that reports that are subsequently investigated are often discredited as unfounded — especially when the assailant is a staff member.”

The survey sample is also notable, according to Kaufman, with only some juveniles getting surveyed instead of the entire population.

“There could be egregious cases that are not reflected in the results, but the goal is to understand a pattern across many people,” Kaufman said.

For Kaufman, one of the main issues at hand is the use of the prison system as a strategy to discipline juveniles.

“Treating youth in the community and not in facilities is a major strategy to avoid sexual assault and other forms of maltreatment of youth in custody,” Kaufman said. “Diverting youth from juvenile and adult prisons is crucial from the standpoint of reducing the harm done to kids.” 

Read more in the Ohio Capital Journal.

 

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