The Associated Press reports on new U.S. Justice Department findings in 13 different state-run and privately-owned juvenile detention centers, where nearly one in three youth reported being the victim of sexual abuse or rape.

In the report, which included findings from an Eagle Springs, N.C., youth facility, “victimization” was defined as any forced activity with another youth and all sexual activity between youth and adult supervisors and employees. Twelve percent of respondents reported some sort of sexual victimization, of which only two percent included reports of forced sexual activity or rape by another youth inmate.

Gay youth inmates were at higher risk of sexual abuse than their straight peers, according to a news report by Raw Story. One in five LGBT youth reported abuse from either staff members or fellow inmates. The report also found male youth were more likely to be abused than females (10.8 percent to 4.7 percent) and that 95 percent of those reporting abuse by staff said the perpetrator was female, figures that might be influenced by the fact that males make up 91 percent of all those in juvenile custody.

The Eagle Springs facility, Samarkand Youth Development Center, was among six such centers where at least three out of 10 youth inmates reported sexual victimization. The six ranked highest in sexual abuse rates. Along with Samarkand, those centers included: Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana; Corsicana Residential Treatment Center in Texas; Backbone Mountain Youth Center in Swanton, Md.; Cresson Secure Treatment Unit in Pennsylvania; and the Culpeper Juvenile Correctional Center, Long Term, in Mitchells, Va.

According to the report, abuse of youth by staff was higher in state-run facilities. Smaller detention centers had lower abuse rates.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.