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Prison rape is the rape of inmates in prison by other inmates or prison staff. There are instances where inmates have raped the correctional officers and prison staff. Prison rape is a matter of exercising one’s power and control rather than a sexual activity. Because of the gender segregated nature of prison confinement, in most prison rapes, the perpetrator and victim are of the same sex.
According to Human Rights Watch, at least 140,000 inmates are raped in the U.S. prison each year. To put an end to the alarming increase in prison rapes, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003. The Act addresses the problem of sexual abuse of persons in the custody of the U.S. correctional agencies.