Sexual Violence on Rise in Arkansas Prisons

JULY 31, 2006 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - In Arkansas prisons, as around the country, prison officials are seeing an increase in reports of sexual violence in the prisons.

State officials attribute the increase to efforts to make it easier for inmates to report sexual violence and a great willingnesss to punish perpetrators.  Federal legislation passed in 2003 encourages more aggressive prosecution of sex crimes within correctional facilities.  State and federal prisons in Arkansas reported 38 allegations of sexual violence, up from 28 a year ago.  Prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler says sexual violence in the Arkansas Department of Correction will not be tolerated.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)