Despite the fact that a number of studies have examined violence in women’s correctional facilities, no study that I am aware of has focused on different types of prison victimization, and very little research has investigated inmate perceptions of sexual violence. This study describes the context of how problematic inmate perceptions of sexual violence are and examines the factors that may account for the perceptions of sexual violence in female housing facilities. The data utilized for this study were obtained as a result of a previously funded National Institute of Corrections cooperative agreement that developed the Women’s Correctional Safety Scales (WCSS), an instrument designed to measure the climate of violence in female correctional institutions. Using data from 4040 female inmates housed in fifteen correctional facilities located in seven different states, the inmate perceptions of sexual violence were regressed on a range of individual-related and social climate related variables. This was a secondary data analysis based on validated survey data. This study found that social climate factors accounted for more variance in how problematic inmate perceptions of sexual violence are than the individual and demographic characteristics of the prisoners. We discuss the implications of findings for future research and correctional practice.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-11-2015


James B. Wells

Mentor Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Justice Studies