Virginia Prison Under Fire For Strip-Searching 8-Year-Old Visiting Dad

Studies of Virginia jail employees strip-searching an 8-year-old woman visiting her incarcerated father prompted outrage Thursday, main state officers to droop all such searches of minors on Friday.

The Virginian-Pilot was the primary to share textual content messages the kid despatched her mom concerning the incident at Buckingham Correctional Middle in Dillwyn, the place she went to go to her father together with his girlfriend on Nov. 24. With a view to see him, jail employees made her strip down utterly bare.

“Hey Mother, am so mad the jail needed to strip me with all of my garments off this doesn’t make no sinc (sic)” the woman texted.

Her mom informed the outlet that the woman was particularly haunted by the strip search as a result of she lives with bipolar dysfunction, despair and ADHD.

“She’s a minor, she’s a woman. She was traumatized,” her mother said. “She will get emotional, she is going to break down.”

The Virginian-Pilot didn’t publish the names of the woman, her mom and her father in an effort to shield the privateness of a minor. 

The Virginia Division of Corrections stated the ordeal by no means ought to have occurred.

“It’s deeply troubling and represents a breach in our protocol,” DOC Director of Communications Lisa Kinney stated in an announcement to HuffPost. “We sincerely apologize to this youngster and her household and might be taking fast disciplinary motion towards the particular person accountable.”

Strip searches of minors are “extraordinarily uncommon,” she stated, and on this occasion the staffer who signed off on it didn’t get the right consent to conduct one.

“Our process states that solely a mum or dad or authorized guardian can approve the strip search of a minor; on this case the grownup customer who signed the consent for the minor to be strip-searched wasn’t the minor’s mum or dad or authorized guardian,” Kinney stated. “The employees member who licensed the search of the minor following a Okay-9 alert didn’t have the authority to take action.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Friday said he’s taking steps to droop strip searches of minors whereas an investigation into the coverage happens.

“I’m deeply disturbed by these stories — not simply as governor however as a pediatrician and a dad,” he stated in an announcement to The Virginian-Pilot. “I’ve directed the secretary of public security and homeland safety to droop this coverage whereas the division conducts a right away investigation and evaluation of their procedures.”

For now, the 8-year-old gained’t be capable of see her dad anymore, the woman’s mom informed The Virginian-Pilot.

“Her and her dad have a superb relationship … as a result of she will get to go see him each weekend,” she stated. “However, on the identical time, she went via one thing that traumatized her. I’m not sending her again there.”

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