Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Getting to the bottom of underwear restrictions

Best to act while the fury is hot in these things so I fired this off to the commissioner of corrections in Alabama.

I am a political blogger for The Detroit News and a freelance investigative reporter. I'm working on a story about the families of inmates and the difficulties they must endure in order to offer support to their incarcerated family members.

I have just become aware of an incident at your facility in Elmore, during which the prison guards tasked with searching the families prior to their visit, behaved in a most bizarre and inappropriate manner unbefitting public servants.

In order to understand this uncivil, inhumane and I believe possibly illegal conduct on the part of your officers, I am writing for clarification on the visiting rules for your corrections centers. I would appreciate it if you would furnish me with citations to your visiting rules, particularly in regard to appropriate attire, the justification for setting these restrictions and how they are made available to families prior to their visit.

I am especially concerned about the alleged rule, that does not appear to be accessible to the public anywhere that I could find, nor is it posted in writing at the facilities, that forbids a family member from visiting an inmate if they are not wearing underwear.

In the instant case, an elderly mother and a politically outspoken sister were prevented from visiting their loved one for said violation, after having driven many hours in order to do so.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this request.
I cc:ed to the Governor, both Senators and the two Democratic party Congressmen. As the say around the blogosphere - story developing....


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