An 8-year-old girl was traumatized after she was forced to strip by prison guards. The incident occurred several days before Thanksgiving at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Virginia, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
Diamond Peerman drove two hours from Hampton to the facility with the hopes of visiting her boyfriend, who is currently a prisoner. Peerman also brought her boyfriend’s 8-year-old daughter to the prison.
A contraband-detecting canine singled out Peerman, who was then told she would have to be strip-searched.
After prison guards told Peerman that she would have to be strip-searched, she asked if the child would have to be strip-searched as well. The prison guards initially told Peerman that the child would not have to be strip-searched, but then they reversed that decision.
The child believed that she would not be allowed to see her father if she did not agree to the search. It was later revealed that the child was forced to take off all of her clothes during the search.
On Friday, Dec. 6, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that he is suspending a policy that permitted correctional staff to perform a strip-search on a minor.
The girl’s mother told The Virginian-Pilot that the child was traumatized and has missed school after the incident.
Northam, a Democrat, announced via Twitter Friday that he also had ordered an “immediate investigation.”
His tweet read: “I’m deeply disturbed by these reports – not just as Governor, but as a pediatrician and a dad. I’ve directed [Virginia Public Safety and Homeland Security] to suspend this policy while the Department conducts and immediate investigation and review of their procedures.”