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Recognizing that women are the fastest growing population behind bars, the Dignity For Incarcerated Women’s campaign came to California when #cut50 sponsored Assembly Bill 2550 (Weber). In the past two decades, the population of women in prison has increased exponentially by 700%. These women have very high rates of past traumatic experiences, with 86% of women in jails and prisons having reported being survivors of past sexual violence and 77% having reported being survivors of partner violence, yet in many states male guards can strip search women and supervise them in showers and bathrooms. This bill sets out to restore dignity to incarcerated women and reduce any further trauma by holding correctional officers accountable.

Legislation

  • Prohibits male correctional officers from conducting cross- gender pat-down searches, except as specified; 
  • Prohibits male correctional officers from entering an area of a prison where female inmates may be undressed, or from being in an area where they can view undressed female inmates; and 
  • Requires documentation of each incident of a male correctional officer conducting a cross-gender pat-down search or entering a prohibited area.