USA: "Not part of my sentence": Violations of the human rights of women in custody

Report
February 28, 1999

USA: "Not part of my sentence": Violations of the human rights of women in custody

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In recognition of the benefit of supporting links between incarcerated parents and their children, the US Congress legislated in 1994 to allow the establishment of projects to promote the maintenance of ties between parents in prison and their children. However Congress has not appropriated any money to implement the legislation.

SEXUAL ABUSE

I'm tired of being gynaecologically examined every time I'm searched.
Inmate at Valley State Prison for Women, California, speaking with an Amnesty International delegate, November 1998, about how some male guards conduct searches

Many women in prisons and jails in the USA are victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse including, commonly, sexually offensive language; male staff touching female inmates' breasts and genitals while conducting searches and male staff watching women while they are naked.

These are some reports received by Amnesty International relating to the period 1997-99(6):