UK: Female prisoners 'coerced into sex for cigarettes and alcohol'

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By Euronews
UK: Female prisoners 'coerced into sex for cigarettes and alcohol'

Women in British jails have been coerced into sex with prison staff in return for cigarettes and alcohol, it’s emerged.

The revelations were contained in a report by the Commission on Sex in Prison.

It also found:

- Evidence of sexual assault known as ‘decrotching’, where women are forced to retrieve drugs from another inmate’s body

- Women are at greater risk of entering prison with a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.

- Evidence some women have sexual relationships with other women prisoners. Intimate relationships between women could be a source of comfort or of bullying or abuse.

The report is the first independent review of sex behind bars in England and Wales.

Chris Sheffield, chairman of the Commission on Sex in Prison, said: “Women in prison are particularly vulnerable and more likely than men to have a history of being a victim of violence or sexual abuse.

“It is important that policies recognise these differences and are developed in order to protect the vulnerable.

“It is equally important that staff in women’s prisons receive specific training on working with women.”

A Prison Service spokeswoman told the BBC: “Sexual relations between prisoners are not commonplace. We do not condone sex in prisons or believe that prisoners in a relationship should share a cell.

“Reported incidents of sexual assault in prison are rare. Where an alleged sexual assault is reported or discovered it will be investigated and reported to the police if required.”