Women say NYC jail visitors subjected to invasive searches

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 10, 2017

 NEW YORK (AP) -- Dozens of women who visit inmates at New York City jails say they have been subjected to demeaning and illegal strip searches.

A report published Tuesday says New York City's 311 call center has received at least 83 complaints about correction officers subjecting visitors to strip searches or cavity searches since 2010.

According to the report by WNYC radio and the online publication The Intercept, the women say correction officers at Rikers Island and other city jails have jammed fingers into their crotches, fondled their breasts and asked them to "prove" they were menstruating by removing their tampons.

The city Department of Correction denies that correction officers are routinely violating visitors' rights.

Spokesman Peter Thorne says the department "has zero tolerance for the mistreatment of visitors."