(CN) – A private prison company must face claims it made women prove they were on their period before entering a jail as visitors, a federal judge ruled.
Three women, identified in court documents by pseudonyms, sued Corrections Corporation of America, or CCA, and a number of jail employees working at the South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tenn. CCA privately manages SCCF, according to the ruling.
“Plaintiffs allege that during their respective visits, upon CCA’s staff at the security checkpoint seeing menstrual care products in their possession, CCA’s staff required them to expose their unclothed genitalia to female corrections officers to ‘verify’ that they were menstruating before allowing them to enter the facility,” the ruling states.
Their original complaint was filed in January and a third amended complaint was filed in April. It alleges an unconstitutional search and seizure, due process and equal protection violations, infliction of emotional distress, negligence, assault, invasion of privacy and false imprisonment.
U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell denied CCA’s partial motion to dismiss last week, ruling that its employees likely created or authorized the strip search policy at issue.
“Defendant Gonzales, the CCA employee in charge of visitation at SCCF, allegedly told one of the plaintiffs that the search was company policy, that it was not her rule, and that she did not make the rules but was required to enforce them,” Campbell wrote. “The number of staff members involved over three different incidents spanning three different months (March through May, 2014) itself is indicative of this practice being a policy dictated from a higher level of management. Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts, accepted as true, to allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that these defendants are liable for the alleged incidents.”
Campbell also ruled against dismissing the women’s claims against CCA employees in their official capacities because, even if the official capacity claims are redundant compared to claims against CCA, they are not automatically dismissed.
Trial is scheduled for Sept. 13, 2016, according to court records.
- Insult to Injury