His tweet read: "I'm deeply disturbed by these reports - not just as Governor, but as a pediatrician and a dad".
The child was trying to visit his father at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, along with his father's girlfriend Diamond Peerman. Peerman, the father's girlfriend, says she told guards that she wasn't the 8-year-old's legal guardian and that they told her she had to sign the consent form anyway.
The texts, dated November 24, started with the girl saying she was angry the jail made her take off her clothes and how it made no since to her.
Her mother responded by telling the girl to call her, but then asking her is they had made her take her trousers off. "Initially, prison guards said no, but after consulting with a captain, that decision was reversed", Peerman told the paper.
"The dog singled out Peerman, requiring that she be strip searched". They had been allowed to fulfill with the lady's father simply days earlier than Thanksgiving, however needed to accept a no-contact go to via a pane of glass, the newspaper reviews.
As of Friday morning, the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, suspended the policy and now things could be real for prison staff, as revealed by DOC Communications Director Lisa Kinney, that the member of the staff who approved the search for the girl did not have that. authority. We sincerely apologize to this child and his family and we will immediately take disciplinary action against the person in charge, "Kinney wrote in an e-mail".
Girl suffering from bipolar disorder, depression and ADHD, missed school because of this incident.
Although Virginia DOC policy does say visitors can be denied entry if they refuse to submit to a strip search, experts say doing so with a child is generally uncalled for. Strip searches are requested when a K-9 has alerted on a visitor.
According to reports, one of the correction officers asked: "How old are you, honey?" "She was traumatized", she said, according to the Pilot.
In later texts, the mother asks, "Did they make you take your trousers off?"
"She and her father have a good relationship ... because she can go see him every weekend", said the mother.
"Hey mom, I'm so insane that the prison had to strip me of all my clothes, it does not make any sense", she then texted her mother, according to the Virginian-Pilot. "She was traumatized", the mother said.