THE MOTTO on the Philadelphia prison system's website reads: "Providing secure correctional environments since 1683."

But life behind bars at three city prisons is anything but safe, according to a federal report released yesterday by the Department of Justice. The report says 6.7 percent of inmates at the city's all-female Riverside Correctional Facility claimed to have been sexually assaulted by other inmates.

At the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center, about 6.3 percent of the inmates claimed that they were sexually assaulted by staff members.

The report shows that 3.4 percent of inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility reported that they were sexually assaulted by staff members.

According to the DOJ, the national average for sexual assaults by inmates is 1.6 percent, while the average for assaults by staff members is 1.8 percent.

City prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes said prison officials were reviewing the report and did not yet have a comment.

She noted that any sexual-assault reports are forwarded to the Philadelphia police Special Victims Unit.

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