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On May 16th, news media covered the story of former Subway pitch-man, now, accused sex offender, Jarod Fogel, having been beaten by another inmate while incarcerated at Englewood FCI in Colorado. The altercation is proposed to have happened back in January.
According to media statements from relatives of the inmate who perpetrated the assault, the inmate “had reached his boiling point because of the increase in the amount of sex offenders being housed in low level facilities.” Englewood FCI is a low level facility that also has a sex offender program. The fact that Mr. Fogel had money and “flashed it around” as well as celebrity status also played a part in the inmate’s reason for the assault according to various reports. Whether or not any of the inmate’s accusations are true, a prison assault on Mr. Fogel is not OK.
Sex offenders are at the bottom of the prison heirarchy, that’s just the way it is. Some ask to be placed in protective custody while in prison, rather than be subjected to threats, name-calling and the possiblity of physical harm in general population. But, for many, protective custody is so restrictive, so isolating, that they take their chances in general population, keeping their heads down, flying under the rader, not making waves, hiding in plain sight. For the most part, this works well for many inmates, they do their time without incident.
Unless a sex offender has some celebrity as Mr. Fogle has, we don’t hear much about whether this sort of violence against sex offenders occurs often, I have searched for statistics on prison assaults, but there doesn’t seem to be any breakdowns regarding assaults specifically against sex offenders. Yes, there are occassional taunts and threats, at least that’s what I’ve heard from someone on the inside, but as far as beatings against sex offenders being the norm, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Fights do break out in prison, when you have thousands of people confined in small spaces, problems are bound to occur.
But after reading all the press releases, knowing what I know from those on the inside, I tend to believe that the assault on Mr. Fogel was an isolated incident, not so much due to his being a sex offender, but perhaps due to another inmate wanting to gain alittle notoriety for themselves.