Columbia County deputies recently charged an inmate of the county jail with sodomizing his cell mate.
Bradley Mandela Houston, 19, was serving time at the Columbia County Detention Center for driving with a suspended license and no proof of insurance. On Nov. 27, he allegedly sexually assaulted his 17-year-old cell mate.
It was the first incident of its kind at the detention center, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
Morris said the assault occurred during the jail's lockdown time, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The assault was reported at 10 a.m. the following day.
Prison rape became the focus of a national survey conducted in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The survey was conducted with 40,419 inmates in 282 jails randomly selected from across the country.
The Columbia County Detention Center was not a participant in the survey.
The DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics extrapolated the number of illegal sex acts based on national estimates of jail populations.
About 3.2 percent of jail inmates, nearly 28,000 prisoners, reported being sexually victimized while incarcerated, according to the survey, which was mandated by the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.
The survey found that more than 12,000 inmates were involved in a sexual incident with another inmate and more than 15,000 inmates had sex, voluntarily or involuntarily, with jail staff.
As is the case with Houston and his alleged victim, most sexual assaults between inmates -- 56 percent -- occur in the victim's cells. Also, most victims of sexual abuse in jail are under age 24.
Sex acts between inmates and staff most often occurred in closets, offices or other locked rooms.
Nearly 62 percent of the inmate-staff sex involved female staff with male prisoners. Just 8 percent of inappropriate relations between staff and inmates involved male staff with female inmates, according to the survey.
For additional statistics, see the full report online at. www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/svljri07.htm.
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