DOJ Report Ranks Ohio 'High' For Sexual Victimization In Juvenile Detention Facilities, Despite Overall Decline

Anna Sturla, CNN •

Jessica Feierman, a senior managing director with the Juvenile Law Center, an advocacy organization for youth in the justice system, said that children and young adults could still fear retaliation, hindering accurate reporting.

"Much of the time, what we find is that young people in facilities are very reluctant to share any harmful experiences they may be having," Feierman said. "I think there's always a real risk of underreporting when it comes to asking young people how they're being treated in facilities they're still in."

The report, the third of its kind, is part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, which requires the Justice Department to track sexual victimization in prisons and other facilities.

"One sexual assault of a young person is one too many. Seven percent is incredibly high," Feierman said. "We need to ask what sort of treatment we'd want our own children to get. I'd never want to send my child to a place where there was a 7 percent chance of sexual victimization."

About the Expert

Jessica Feierman oversees Juvenile Law Center’s projects and programs. Feierman currently leads a national effort to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system and is engaged in litigation aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices in juvenile facilities.

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