© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sexual Abuse Rate At Oregon Youth Correctional Facility Among Nation's Highest

A barbed wire fence encloses the Columbia County Jail yard in St. Helens, Ore., Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Bradley W. Parks
A barbed wire fence encloses the Columbia County Jail yard in St. Helens, Ore., Saturday, March 30, 2019.

Although reports of sexual abuse in juvenile correctional facilities across the nation have declined in past years, Oregon’s correctional facility for girls and young women was ranked among the top facilities for having the highest rates of sexual victimization in 2018, according to a federal report.

In the report, 42 girls and young women at Albany’s Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility were surveyed; 14.3% reported being sexually victimized in 2018. That’s more than twice the national average of 7.1%, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The report does not distinguish sexual abuse reports in individual facilities made against staff versus those made against other youth.

Other Oregon facilities above the national average include St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton at 11.1% and the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility in Grants Pass at 10.3%.

All other Oregon juvenile facilities fell below the national average, with the Eastern Oregon Youth Correction Facility in Burns having the lowest rate of sexual abuse reports at 4.3%.

The National Survey of Youth in Custody conducted the report and surveyed more than 6,000 children and young adults nationally.

Nationwide, the overall rate of sexual victimization reported declined from 9.5% in 2012 to 7.1% in 2018.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meerah Powell is a general assignment and breaking news reporter for OPB. She previously worked as a news reporter and podcast producer for Eugene Weekly in her hometown of Eugene, Oregon. Along with writing and audio work, Meerah also has experience with photography and videography. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication.