A US juvenile offender mops the floor during his work program at a youth detention center in state of Ohio.
A US government study has confirmed that hundreds of American teenagers are repeatedly raped or sexually assaulted while detained in juvenile detention centers across the country.
A whopping 20 percent of all the youth that have been victimized by male and female staff members “charged with protecting and counseling them” said in a survey study that they had been sexually violated by their detention facility’s personnel “on more than 10 occasions,” US-based Pro Publica
online journal reported Thursday citing a US Department of Justice survey.
"Today's report illustrates the fundamental failure of many juvenile detention facilities to keep their youth safe," said Louisa Stannow, executive director of Just Detention International, a California-based health and human rights organization, as quoted in the report.
The official survey, which reportedly covers both “secure” juvenile detention facilities and group homes, the less restrictive settings into which troubled youngsters are often assigned by court orders - involved more than 8,500 boys and girls.
In all, 1,720 of the detained juveniles participating in the survey reported being sexually assaulted at US detention facilities.
This is while Allen Beck, the author of the report, underlined that the rates of staff-on-inmate abuse among juveniles are "about three times higher than what we find in the adult arena."
According to the official poll, the highest incidence of staff sexual misconduct at American youth detention centers occurred in Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia and Illinois, while other states such as New York, Massachusetts and Delaware, reported no abuse.
It further states that at Georgia’s Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center and Ohio’s Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility, one in three youngster s responding to the survey stated that they had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of staff members.
There are nearly 70,000 youngsters in US juvenile detention facilities across the country, thousands of whom are 16 years old or younger, the report adds, noting that the survey examined youth jails that hold about one-third of the total juvenile population in detention.