Supervisor’s Statement on Abusive Strip Searches

Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas On the Legal Settlement Over Abusive Strip Searches

“It is inexcusable that women incarcerated at the Central Regional Detention Facility (CRDF) have been subjected to dehumanizing experiences, enduring humiliating and intrusive body cavity searches and other painful violations while in our custody.

“Almost half of the women at CRDF are still awaiting trial and have not been convicted of any crime. Often, when they are sentenced, it is for a nonviolent offense. Many have long histories of abuse and trauma.

“Over the last several years, the County has implemented a range of criminal justice reforms, including creating alternatives to incarceration. For those who must remain in custody, the County has adopted policies and programs intended to ensure their basic dignity, and to provide them with job training, family reunification programs, and a host of supportive services – even after their release.

“The County still has a long way to go. While the profoundly disturbing conditions detailed in this class action settlement have been remedied, we must remain vigilant to ensure that women in our custody are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and in a manner that does not further injure or traumatize them.”