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Strange Addictions: Can Permissible Masturbation Cure Prison Rape?

Strange Addictions: Can Permissible Masturbation Cure Prison Rape?

Masturbation may be the lesser of two evils in prison and an option that would keep more inmates safer from sexual assault.

Pornography is an addiction. Anal sex is more of an addiction than it is a preference. Stealing sex from someone is criminal (male or female) and is not only assault but also a form of addiction, as strange as it may be. So what is the cure?

 Via Slate.com – The snarkosphere had a good laugh last summer when an inmate at a Michigan jail sued the state for depriving him of pornography in spite of his professed “chronic masturbation syndrome.” The case was dismissed in August because the plaintiff, 22-year-old Kyle Richards, a convicted bank robber who got busted after police followed a trail of cash through the snow to his apartment, did not pay a $350 filing fee. But last month Richards pressed his case further, filing a new suit against a Detroit Fox television station for mocking his masturbatory condition with “degrading and slanderous” coverage.

Richards may be a bit of a nut—his suit also names “the United States” as a defendant—but to many inmates, the fight for the right to masturbate is no laughing matter. In October, a group of inmates in Connecticut launched a letter-writing campaign to protest a planned ban on porn in state prisons set to begin next summer. Connecticut officials claim porn undermines prison security and creates a hostile work environment for staff. But the prisoners say access to porn is their constitutional right. They want the state either to nix the nudie-mag ban or provide access to X-rated cable TV in order to alleviate their sensory deprivation.


The deprivation does not end with porn, though. While you might think of masturbation as a sort of last refuge for the incarcerated—a truly inalienable freedom, given the happy proximity of the sex organs—that is not the case. In fact, a number of state prisons regard jerking off as a rule infraction. American University law professor Brenda Smith, who conducted a 50-state survey of prison masturbation policies in 2006, says restrictions are “well-entrenched” in the correctional environment. In North Carolina, for example, it is a violation to “touch the sexual or other intimate parts of oneself or another person for the purpose of sexual gratification.” Violations can lead to disciplinary segregation or the loss of “good time” credits. Tennessee forbids “[a]ny behavior intended for the sexual gratification of the subject.” Ohio prohibits “[s]eductive or obscene acts, including indecent exposure or masturbation.” Kentucky regards inmate masturbation as “[i]nappropriate sexual behavior.” In California, where some 170,000 men and women live behind bars, masturbation is permissible provided it is stopped immediately if noticed by staff, blue balls be damned. If the masturbator perseveres, even if concealed by bed sheets, he can be cited for “Intentionally Sustained Masturbation without Exposure.” These policies are part of a long correctional tradition to forbid all forms of sexual activity. Prison officials say they need the rules to keep order and deter exhibitionism.

The question is, should inmates have the right to masturbate? To read the entire article CLICK HERE

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