How to Curb Prison Rape

Prisoners should be separated into weight classes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2010 9:38 AM CDT
How to Curb Prison Rape
Separating prisoners by weight class could cut down on rape and brutality.   (Shutterstock)

Bryan Caplan has what he thinks is an easy way to cut down on rape and brutality in prison: separate inmates by something akin to weight class. We already do so by gender and, to a lesser extent, by severity of crime, "but there's still a long way to go," Caplan writes for the Library of Economics and Liberty. "My proposal seems like an obvious and cheap improvement over the status quo."

He explains: "In boxing, heavyweights don't fight featherweights. It's not a fair fight. But in prison, heavyweights serve their time side-by-side with featherweights. A simple remedy for rape and brutality, then, is split up prisoners by size and strength. You could assign the various classes of prisoners to different wings. Or if that's too logistically difficult, you could assign each prison a weight class, then reallocate existing prisoners."
(Read more prison stories.)

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