Week of Jan 14th
Powerless in Prison: Sexual Abuse Against Incarcerated Women
By Nicole Summer, RH Reality Check.

“I am 7 months pregnant [and] I got pregnant here during a sexual assault. I have been sexually assaulted here numerous times! The jailers here are the ones doing it!” — excerpt from a letter from an inmate in a jail in Alabama to Stop Prisoner Rape.

Surviving a sexual assault and then navigating the health care system to receive adequate counseling and reproductive medical attention is daunting enough for those who walk freely on the outside. For women in prison, these hurdles can seem insurmountable. Unfortunately, sexual assault, particularly guard-on-prisoner sexual assault, is a fact of life for many incarcerated women, and the ensuing implications for their reproductive health are many.

Director Cindy Dryer addressed DOJ Campus Institute, Hosted by CALCASA.
Director Cindy Dryer, the newly appointed Director of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women addressed the Department’s 2008 Campus Institute, hosted by CALCASA, on Thursday.
Director Dryer welcomed the new Department of Justice (DOJ) Campus grantees as well as noted the inaugural meeting the Campus Flagship Program, which identified exemplary university systems in Iowa, Oklahoma, Porto Rico and notably the University of California system in California.
Director Dryer reiterated the importance of the Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus program in the DOJ’s offerings. She also expressed her desire to continue to raise visibility around violence against women issues and spoke about her background as a prosecutor in the sex crimes unit in Texas. Director Dryer indicated that her work as a prosecutor informed and inspired her deep commitment to violence against women issues.
CALCASA was pleased that Director Dryer could attend the Campus Institute and meet the outstanding group of grantees that are involved in the program. CALCASA looks forward to working with Director Dryer.
‘Why does violence look so normal?’
By Jennifer Torres
Record Staff Writer
STOCKTON – When the Women’s Center representative asked who among them knew somebody – a sister, a mother, a friend, a classmate, anybody – who had been a victim of violence, each of the roughly 20 boys in the Weber Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology classroom raised his hand.
“That’s just life, though” one of the high schoolers said.
The Women’s Center of San Joaquin County visited the Weber Institute on Wednesday to present the My Strength campaign, which seeks to help young men prevent sexual violence in their communities. It is a project of the California Department of Health Services and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
The Women Center hopes to launch a local chapter in the effort, starting at Stockton Unified’s Weber Institute. If enough students are interested, the center will facilitate weekly meetings for an all-male youth group to discuss masculinity, gender equality, violence prevention and other topics.
Suzanne Brown-McBride on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer
The News Hour with Jim Lehrer recently aired a segment on sex offender laws. The segment emphasized that, “Twenty-two states have laws that restrict where convicted sex offenders may live and, in some cases, how they interact with the community after they are released from prison. Jeffrey Kaye reports on the laws and the constitutional questions they’ve raised.”
Click here to view the television segment.
State paying more to study predators
By John Simerman, STAFF WRITER
Eager to keep violent sex predators behind bars, state lawmakers and voters in 2006 vastly expanded the pool of inmates who can be forced into mental hospitals when their prison terms end.
The early result: The state spent about $25 million more last year to screen and evaluate thousands of newly eligible inmates, none of whom it appears were committed to a state institution. Part of the reason is a backlog of cases. Local prosecutors say they are filing more court petitions for commitment, but delays mean it often takes more than a year to reach trial.
But a bigger factor, say those who evaluate sex criminals, is that so few of the newly eligible convicts meet the definition of a sexually violent predator (SVP).
MySpace pressured to protect US children
AP – The social networking site MySpace has agreed to take steps to protect youngsters from online sexual predators and bullies, including searching for ways to better verify users’ ages.
It follows mounting pressure from law enforcement and parents.
The popular online hangout will create a task force of industry professionals to improve the safety of users, and other social-networking sites will be invited to participate.
“We must keep telling children that they’re not just typing into a computer. They’re sharing themselves with the world,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said.
MySpace, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, has more than 200 million registered users worldwide, and Facebook claims more than 61 million active users.
Marine’s family questions handling of case

For months after a pregnant 20-year-old Marine accused a colleague of rape
, her family says, she continued to work alongside her attacker and endured harassment at Camp Lejeune.
In the weeks after she disappeared, they believe, the sheriff’s department was slow to act.
As authorities recovered Maria Lauterbach’s remains Saturday from a fire pit where they suspect Marine Cpl. Cesar Armando Laurean burned and buried her body, her family asked why authorities didn’t treat her case with greater urgency.