Women Sue Jail Following Underwire Bra Incident


Two women are suing a Maryland jail after corrections officers told them to remove their underwire bras because they were setting off metal detectors. Many jails across the country advise women not to wear underwires, but that shouldn’t have happened at this particular facility, since underwires were declared acceptable just a few months ago.

My Fox DC reports that Mary Proctor was attempting to visit her son, along with her daughter Zanaisha Walker, when the women set off metal detectors at a jail in Prince George’s County. They were sent to a bathroom to remove their bras, then walked through the metal detectors again. Since there was nowhere to put their underwear back on, they had to walk through the jail holding their bras. “It was embarrassing,” said Walker. “You know, you have to walk around covered up … with your bra in your hand … it was just ridiculous.”

Now the women are suing the county and asking for $1 million in damages. Their lawyer says:

“My clients asked for a female officer to be able to inspect their bra in the restroom … And they weren’t even given one. They asked for someone to ‘wand’ them. They weren’t given one. The reality is: [it’s] a policy that is demeaning [and] humiliating to women … and it needs to stop now.”

So the facility had no wand or female officer on hand? You know there’s a problem when the TSA is more capable of carrying out a respectful search.

The incident makes even less sense because officials specifically said underwires are allowed in Prince George’s County correctional facilities just four months ago. After a prison guard told several women, including defense attorneys, that they had to remove their bras before entering the jail, the county’s chief public defender said it was a “training issue,” adding that new metal detectors that wouldn’t be set off by a bra had been installed.

Some facilities won’t let a visitor through if they set off a metal detector for any reason, but isn’t that policy a bit too strict, even for a prison? Certainly the wires could be used to fashion a magnificent shank, but how would women pass them to inmates? TV has led me to believe visitors aren’t allowed to touch prisoners, and even tossing bits of ice cream sandwich into a loved one’s mouth is frowned upon.

Women Sue Jail Over Underwire Bra Dispute [My Fox DC]
Underwire Bras Cause Angst At Jail [Washington Post]

Image via Carolina K. Smith, M.D./Shutterstock.

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