Amnesty International: Women mistreated in U.S. prisons
Human rights organization Amnesty International on Tuesday released a report slamming misconduct against women in US prisons, timed to coincide with International Women's Day to be marked tomorrow. "Abuse of Women in Custody: Sexual Misconduct and Shackling of Pregnant Women" outlines a series of abuses in US prisons, and notes that only three of the 50 US states bar frisking of inmates by prison custodians of the opposite gender. "Our laws are woefully inadequate to protect women in US prisons, too many of whom are subjected to sexual assault, harassment, and barbaric shackling practices," Amnesty International USA Executive Director William Schultz, is quoted by AFP as saying. "Many states fail to protect women in prison from sexual misconduct with five states, Alabama, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin, failing to have any laws at all," the report outlines. Four states permit holding a prisoner criminally liable for engaging in sexual conduct with a prison official, according to the report. "And in Arizona, an inmate who is raped may be charged under this law," it adds. "Only Florida, Michigan and South Dakota disallow cross-gender 'pat-down' searches," said the report, which documents the cases of 1,000 individuals who claim to have been sexually abused during their time in prison. The report explores governments' responsibility to protect women from torture.