Cops Strip Searched Woman To Prove She Was On Her Period

A woman was strip-searched during a visit to an inmate at a privately-run Tennessee prison. She said that deputy guards forced her to remove her clothes and literally show them her genitals to prove she was menstruating.

This proof was required when she tried to take a sanitary napkin, or “maxi pad” into the facility.

The woman has been identified only as Jane Doe, in a new lawsuit. She claims in that suit that her constitutional rights were violated by deputies at the security checkpoint. The guards noticed the maxi pad protruding from her pocket. One of the deputies asked about the “feminine sanitary napkin” in and she said that she had to bring it with her because she was menstruating.

That explanation was fine with one guard, but a second insisted that she needed to be searched. The woman said that she was willing to leave the pad behind or just leave the prison altogether, rather than being searched. She even had a used pad with her that she had not had a chance to throw away yet. But none of that was enough.

The guards instructed her to go to a bathroom stall, take off her pants and underwear and allow an officer to inspect her genitalia.

She was not free to leave, the lawsuit alleges, and to add to that, the prison’s visitor policy stated: “Any visitor refusing a search of any type may be permanently restricted from visiting.”

The Tennessee Department of Corrections doubled down on this practice, and noted that visitors may have to replace feminine hygiene products in front of a guard “if there is reasonable suspicion” that contraband is being smuggled in their vaginas.

This, however, mentions nothing of visual inspection of one’s genitals.

The lawsuit against the prison seeks damages for the humiliation the woman suffered, and asks for a ban on the policy since it is unconstitutional.

“Plaintiff should not be forced to make the intolerable choice between abstaining from visiting an inmate in prison because she is on her period and visiting the prison with the risk of being subjected to another humiliating and degrading search of her exposed genitalia,” the lawsuit reads.