Patterns of victimization among male and female inmates: evidence of an enduring legacy

Violence Vict. 2009;24(4):469-84. doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.24.4.469.


People inside prison have above-average rates of childhood and adult victimization. Little is known, however, about the relationship between types of victimization inside prison and that experienced in childhood. This article estimates rates of victimization for male and female inmates by type of perpetrator and form of victimization (sexual, physical, either, or both) and their association with types of childhood victimization (sexual or physical). Data for these estimates are based on a random sample of approximately 7,500 inmates housed in 12 adult male prisons and one adult female prison in a single state. The significance of the findings for practice are discussed along with recommendations to improve the health and welfare of people inside prison.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prisoners / psychology
  • Prisoners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prisons
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Truth Disclosure
  • Young Adult