The ACLU and ACLU of Colorado this week called upon the Colorado Department of Corrections to abandon a new policy that subjects prisoners to degrading body cavity searches. According to press reports and letters sent to the ACLU by prisoners at Denver Women's Correctional Facility (DWCF), prisoners now must hold open their labia as correctional officers, sometimes using a flashlight, sometimes positioning their faces only inches away from a prisoner's genitals, conduct an inspection. Reports even indicate that some prisoners have been forced to pull back the skin of their clitorises. These searches occur even when the guards have no particular reason to suspect concealment of contraband — correctional officers search prisoners' body cavities on a frequent basis, after work assignments and visits from friends and family. Guards apparently have threatened prisoners who resist with pepper spray.
One prisoner describes the new procedure as follows in a letter to the ACLU:
The lift is treated differently by officers, but generally involves spreading your legs and parting your outer labia so an officer can do a visual inspection of your genitals. I have had to perform this procedure simply standing; from a sitting position with my legs spread eagle and having a flashlight shined at my genitals; from a standing position with a foot perched on a toilet and an officer's face inches from my genitals; in front of multiple officers and once in front of an officer and two Life Safety trainees….
High rates of prior sexual abuse among women prisoners no doubt compound the suffering inflicted by the new procedure. According to one prisoner at DWCF:
Being a survivor of sexual trauma the new labia-lift procedure encouraged my post-traumatic stress disorder. I had periodic flashbacks …. I have also witnessed women literally crying when they were subject to the labia lift…
Aside from the suffering and humiliation they inflict upon prisoners, the searches are unnecessary. They occur without any particular reason to suspect that a prisoner is attempting to conceal contraband. On top of that, the new requirement that prisoners hold open their labia adds little to existing procedures that already required invasive searches designed to uncover any contraband. One prisoner describes the difference between the old and new policies as follows:
T]he "proper" search (before the labia lift came about) is as follows: Remove all clothes, as an officer searches the seams/pockets/waistband and stand completely naked. Open the mouth; sweep fingers around tongue and along gum line. Fold forward ears while turning the head to expose behind them. Run fingers through hair, removing any ties or combs and if needed, bend over to shake long hair. Lift arms and if breasts are large, lift breasts. Turn around; lift each foot, wiggling toes. Turn your back to the officer, bend over, squat, and grab buttocks while coughing. The addition of the "labia lift" is to stand or sit, facing the officer, while spreading the labia open wide.
In short, the new requirement that prisoners hold open their labia adds little to the search procedure — other than additional humiliation and suffering for DWCF prisoners. It's time for the Department of Corrections to abandon the new policy.
Average Cost of a Wedding DJ - $741
Average Cost of a Wedding Limo - $504
Average Cost of a Wedding Guestbook - $59
Average Cost of a Wedding Tuxedo (rented) - $132
Average Cost of a Wedding Tuxedo (purchased) - $515
Average Cost of a Wedding Dress Preservation - $265
Average Cost of a Wedding Teeth Whitening - $183
Average Cost of a Wedding Videographer - $1,122
Average Cost of a Wedding Planner (full service) - $2,264
Source of all wedding cost statistics were gathered from the latest Q1-Q2 bridal survey found at The Wedding Report.
Creating such a authoritative list falls on the wedding community itself. Each year, we received thousands of emails, blog comments and tweets from people within the bridal scene suggesting who should be included in the upcoming list of the Top 100 Wedding Blogs. There are dozens & dozens of new wedding blogs popping up everyday, so putting each one on our radar is definitely a task we welcome and take seriously.
But we can't do it alone. That's why we need your help.
For the next week or so, we would like to ask the all you planning brides, product vendors, wedding pros, and bridal obsessed to share their favorite wedding blogs that are not currently on our Top 100 list. We want to know which wedding blogs are under-rated, under-featured and unknown to most of the wedding world, but are definitely Top 100 material.
So what are you waiting for! Simply leave a comment below with a link to the website and we'll do our best to check it out. Remember, we're only looking for wedding blogs that are not currently on our Top 100 list.
Thank you in advance to everyone who shares their favorites and we'll give another update soon as we continue progress in creating our 2011 wedding blogs list.
Together, we can advance the wedding industry.
@TabMcCausland - 16 years and I have never taken it off :)
@vancouverbride - I take it off when I do dishes or take a shower
@WeddObsessed - I always take it off at home
@CachicDesign - Just to spin it on the table ;)
@heidisevents - Every night. I can't sleep with jewelry on
@ohsoglam - Nope, absolutely not. Never
@tos_events Every day when we get in from work. He knows I love him so I don't need it with just the two of us :)
@GlamandGraceWed - Only when doing something messy
@TeenaIngram - I take mine off every night.... can't sleep with jewelry
@hindsightbride - Not usually. Only to clean.
@woodsandco - When showering, doing the dishes, swimming in the ocean
@kathleenkinser - Yes, when I am yard work
@bgproductions - I have to at night because my fingers swell up
@JL_Davis - Only to have it cleaned, or putting on lotion
@MartinGammon - Hasn't taken his off in 12 years!
So, do YOU ever take off you wedding/engagement ring?
Commissioned by artist Simon de Boer, Jonas and Anika created this video for a project entitled ‘Bride.’ The video contains 270 wedding gowns collected all around Europe and showcases the unique story of them using a black backdrop and invisible models.
We showed a few people around the office and asked them to describe this video in one word. These were their thoughts:
What is your opinion?