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Sex in Prison: Myths and Realities

Catherine D. Marcum and Tammy L. Castle, editors
Sex in Prison: Myths and Realities
ISBN: 978-1-62637-030-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-494-2
2013/191 pages/LC: 2013016462
"Both comprehensive and sophisticated."—Amber L. Morczek, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

"A must-read for anyone interested in examining the sexual behavior that occurs behind prison walls.... I highly recommend it."—Robert M. Worley, Texas A&M University

"Insightful and important.... The authors offer a unique look at frequently misunderstood issues and uncover some ugly truths about the US penal system."—Rebecca Trammell, Metropolitan State University of Denver


Despite being deemed an illegal activity, participation in sexual activity behind prison walls is a frequent occurrence. Catherine Marcum and Tammy Castle provide a comprehensive study of all aspects of prison sex.

Incorporating inmate, correctional officer, and policymaker perspectives—and debunking myths—the authors consider the full range of consensual and nonconsensual behaviors. They also address the physical, emotional, and legal repercussions of participating in prison sexual relationships. Their analysis is enriched by a case study of a privately run correctional facility, revealing the effects of the Prison Rape Elimination Act at the local level.


Catherine D. Marcum is assistant professor of justice studies at Appalachian State University. Tammy L. Castle is associate professor of justice studies at James Madison University.


  • Examining Prison Sex Culture—C.D. Marcum.
  • Consensual Sex—K. Levan.
  • Sexual Victimization—R. Tewksbury and D.P. Connor.
  • Responding to Sexual Assault—B. Zaitzow.
  • Conjugal Visitation—T.L. Castle.
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Inmates—A.G. Blackburn, S.L. Fowler, and J.L. Mullings.
  • Health Issues—R.H. Potter and J. Rosky.
  • International Contexts—T. Einat.
  • Local Perspectives—D. McDonald and A. Miller.
  • Further Implications—the Editors.