The women were ordered to line up outdoors, strip, and toss their clothes onto the concrete in front of them. Beneath their bare feet, oil from the buses that regularly idled on the same spot mingled with blood left by waves of female prisoners.
Cadets violently strip searched us as part of their training. for my pain, i got $
Guards cursed, barked commands, made crude jokes about the odor, snickered at the naked bodies. They ordered the women to stand so close that their shoulders touched. They ordered them to use their fingers to separate their gums and their lips so that their mouths could be searched and then, without offering them a chance to wash first, to use their hands to spread their buttocks and their vaginas. They ordered them to bend over and cough as the guards examined their body cavities with flashlights.
If they were menstruating, the women were ordered to remove their p and tampons as blood ran to their feet. They stumbled into each other as they spread their toes to be inspected.
They shivered in the cold night air and, sometimes, the rain. Some cried. Facing them, watching them, they could see another line of naked women undergoing the same ordeal. Both lines were visible to workers, male and female alike, through a chain-link fence alternately covered and uncovered by a tattered tarp that blew in the wind.
This was not a concentration camp or a high security military prison. Those beatings led to an FBI investigation, federal prosecutions and prison sentences for more than a dozen L. The agreement was filed with the court Tuesday. Today, searches for concealed weapons and other contraband are conducted using airport-style full-body scanners. So one might be tempted to conclude that the problem has been solved.
Women were brutally strip-searched in l.a. county jails. now we have to pay for it
Scanners are no big deal, right? We can move on. But L. County has yet to move on.
The same toxic culture that led to brutality against inmates of both sexes persists. The same ignorance of women and their particular needs continues. The county had once planned to replace the Lynwood jail with a repurposed collection of buildings in the desert, far from families and support services.
The Board of Supervisors wisely changed course earlier this year. Critics might complain that group strip searches are just a fact of life for inmates, and that women were treated no differently from men. But in most other jails around the nation, such searches were not routine.
And in Los Angeles County, male inmates in fact were not subjected to the same level of search. And of course differences in anatomy mean that strip searches of female inmates more closely approach the line that separates sexual humiliation from sexual assault. Anyone still unable to summon much concern for abused or humiliated inmates should remember to open their wallets and pull out a five-dollar bill and some spare change besides.
County man, woman and child, under the settlement, for seven years of brutal abuse. That means more people being needlessly hurt more deeply and more often.
And the rest of us paying more because of it. The editorial board opines on the important issues of the day — exhorting, explaining, deploring, mourning, applauding or championing, as the case may be. The board, which operates separately from the newsroom, proceeds on the presumption that serious, non-partisan, intellectually honest engagement with the world is a requirement of good citizenship. Letters to the Editor: Be outraged at yourself.
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Women made to expose genitals during prison 'training exercise' was legal demand, us court rules
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