An 8-year-old girl was strip-searched by Virginia Department of Corrections employees after she was told that if she refused, she wouldn’t be able to visit her father in prison.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the child was visiting the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Virginia, with her father’s girlfriend, Diamond Peerman, who is not the girl’s legal guardian.
According to Virginia state law, a legal guardian must give consent for the search. DOC Director of Communications Lisa Kinney said that the staff member who approved the search didn’t have the authority.
“It is deeply troubling and represents a breach in our protocol,” Kinney wrote in an email. “We sincerely apologize to this child and her family and will be taking immediate disciplinary action against the person responsible.”