Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars!
The Most Mind Blowing Documentary Ever…
Okay, so I’m only fourteen years late to the game, but I just watched the most mind-blowing documentary ever and had to share it with those of us who also haven’t seen it! I’m not really the biggest fan of documentaries unless it comes to LGBTQ staples such as Gay Sex in the 70s, Mapplethorpe, or Paris is Burning. But, any time I do come across a gay-themed documentary I tend to become glued to my screen. I have yet to see such a fascinating story as the tragic death of Venus Xtravaganza in Paris is Burning, but this next documentary focusing on convicted felon, David Mendenhall JR, is giving Xtravaganza some stiff competition.
Mendenhall, who was allegedly arrested for murdering his daughter, was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He is the primary focus in the documentary, Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars, released in 2004. The film estimates 20% of men serving in US prisons have been raped and looks into the prisons which allow this type of violent, sexual behavior. It's in the title: They get turned out…yikes. Mendenhall, with a prison nickname of “Mindy”, and many others discuss how sex is used as currency and random spurts of actual love, even though rape and sex with multiple others are involved. Mendenhall details being discovered immediately by someone who would become his Master, you could say. This person would essentially sell Mendenhall for whatever was necessary to survive, while maintaining a sexually abusive, but oddly loving relationship with him.
The documentary continues to detail how prison relationships work. It appears to be all about power and a terrifying, continuous game of who is on the top and bottom of any totem pole. It even includes footage of a prison guard being caught about to attempt rape, after he had in the past, and to much dismay: The guard only gets fired and serves no time. The horrific stories of these men detailing their sexual assault is enough to chew all of your nails off within the hour. They absolutely are criminals, but they are still people too. There’s so much emotion with this, you’ll be hooked within moments. It's even narrated by Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn)!
According to Lipstick Alley, Mendenhall was released from prison in March 2017. I wonder if he’s ever seen his own documentary? Seriously, this should be shown to those kids on that show Scared Straight, because a documentary like this would definitely make you second guess participating in any crime…outside of you know, having a conscience!
If you haven’t seen Turned Out: Sexual Assault Behind Bars, you can watch it on YouTube below: