200 female prisoners at the Lincoln Correctional Center in Illinois were woken up early in the morning by a tactical unit armed with batons and shields. They were handcuffed and made to walk to a gymnasium.
Once there, they stood facing the wall for more than an hour until the guards started taking groups of four to 10 into a adjoining bathroom and beauty shop in the gym.
They were ordered to strip, standing shoulder to shoulder. Women on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads. They did and were forced to stand bleeding on themselves or the floor. They had to lift their breasts and hair, cough and squat bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities.
All of this happened with the doors open so that male Lincoln Correctional Center guards could see the naked prisoners as they walked past or as they deliberately stared at them, according to The Washington Post.
And the point? A training exercise for incoming cadets.
Litigation has been ongoing for eight years in this case.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled in a divided 2-1 opinion that the entire 2011 episode of abuse and harassment at the Lincoln Correctional Center was legal just because the guards did not physically probe the women during the visual body cavity searches, despite the fact it was only done for training and not for security.
The two majority judges were Raegan appointees. The dissenting judge was an Obama appointee.
There has been some justice this week in regard to female prisoners’ body and privacy rights, however.
This week Los Angeles County settled a 2010 lawsuit – the largest county lawsuit settled ever – for $53 million after a judge found that the county jail’s mass visual body cavity searches did violate female inmates’ Fourth Amendment rights.