Saturday, June 12, 2010

Miami Federal Detention Center--No Underwire Bra Rule, No Bra Rule

The Federal Detention Center in Miami barred a local lawyer from seeing and consulting with a client on June 4th because her under wire bra set off the metal detector.  The attorney, Britney Horstman (pic) discreetly removed the garment and attired in blouse and jacket successfully passed through the metal detector and was again prevented by security from visiting with her client.  This is from the account in the Miami Herald:

This is not the first time guards at the downtown Miami inmate facility have taken exception to the undergarments of female attorneys coming in to see their clients.  A few years ago, the Federal Public Defender's Office, which represents inmates held at FDC-Miami before trial, hammered out an arrangement with the prison allowing female lawyers entry if guards determine -- by using a wand -- that their under wire bras are setting off the detector. Once it's confirmed, the woman can enter.

FDC-Miami officials declined to comment. People familiar with the procedure say the guards on duty that Friday probably didn't get the `memo.'

A spokeswoman referred a reporter to its dress code posted on the prison facility's Web page. The policy requires that women wear bras, but doesn't specifically prohibit underwire styles. But the FDC's dress code, which stresses `appropriate attire,' has a laundry list of restrictions. Women, for example, cannot wear sweat pants, sweat shirts, sun dresses, leotards, wraparound skirts, crop tops, low cut blouses, zippered dresses/shirts, button-down dresses/skirts or low-cut dresses. They also cannot wear `any type of garment that is see-through . . . or clothing that is tight and sexually suggestive or revealing.'"


  1. I had a friend Nancy O, that I wish had lived long enough to be outraged by the indignity of this treatment of this lawyer. She would have been highly motivated to respond to the disparate treatment of women lawyers by this "security" screening process. As a genuine victim of security overkill, see my posts from last year under "Pepper Spray, Parts I & II"--I do get the need to ensure the safety of these corrections employees and inmates. When I worked at the FCP Allenwood I was amazed at what was smuggled in by visitors--most of it pretty innocuous "food stuffs." But everything under the sun came through. I son't like to speculate on how.


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