Virginia Prison Guards Convinced a Little Girl She Couldn’t See Her Dad Without Being Strip Searched

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Nothing says holidays like a pre-visit strip search for children.

Yep, you read what you thought you did.

An 8-year-old girl visiting her father at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn before Thanksgiving was subjected to a shocking act of abuse by prison guards. According to the child, she was convinced she wouldn’t be allowed to see her dad unless she submitted to a complete strip search. (I’ve written before about how terribly easy it is for people to manipulate children.)

An 8-year-old girl was stripped naked and searched by Virginia Department of Corrections staff after she was led to believe refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father.

State policy allows for such searches at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, about 60 miles west of Richmond, and other state DOC prisons. The girl was accompanied by her father’s girlfriend, who is not her legal guardian. If they refused to be searched, they could have been banned from the prison. (source)


The guards hesitated but were instructed to proceed by their superior.

Reports say that the K-9 at the facility “alerted” to the father’s girlfriend. Initially, the child was not going to be searched but after consultation with the captain, the decision was changed.

That’s right. This wasn’t just a couple of guards behaving badly or using horrendous judgment. They were hesitant, asked what they should do, and were told to do it by their superior. A spokeswoman for the prison said, “that the staff member who approved the search didn’t have that authority.”

And the story might never have gotten out if the little girl hadn’t been upset and texted her mother.

As part of its original report, The Virginian-Pilot published a series of text messages it says are between the girl and her mother following the incident.

The texts, dated Nov. 24, started with the girl saying she was angry the jail made her take off her clothes and how it made no sense to her.

Her mother shot back a text saying: “What call me.”

In later texts, the mother asks, “Did they make you take your pants off ?” The girl responds, “Yes all of my clothes off.” (source)

The child’s mother said she already suffers from bipolar, depression, and ADHD. I’m sure this will not help matters for her.

The prison is really sorry, but those really are the rules.

In a statement that actually upholds the original story, a spokeswoman for the prison said they’re sorry. (Emphasis mine.)

In an email to NPR Friday, Lisa Kinney, the director of communications for Virginia Department of Corrections said “we sincerely apologize to this child and her family.”

Kinney explains that Virginia’s protocol states “only a parent or legal guardian can approve a search of a minor.”

Peerman, who signed the consent form for the girl, was neither.

“The staff member who authorized the search of the minor following a K-9 alert didn’t have the authority to do so. We take this matter very seriously and … will be taking immediate disciplinary action against the person responsible,” Kinney wrote.

She noted that strip searches are requested after a K-9 has “alerted on a visitor” but visitors have the option to refuse the search and leave the premises. (source)

So while they apologize, it was true that if the little girl had not allowed this heinous invasion, she wouldn’t have gotten to see her dad for Thanksgiving.

The ACLU denounced the “highly coercive policy.”

The legal team for the ACLU took a look at the policy and, yes, it means exactly what everyone thought it meant. Had the little girl said no, she wouldn’t be able to visit her dad. And the father’s girlfriend was likewise told to sign a document she didn’t have the authority to sign.

The DOC policy on employee, visitor and offender searches states: “If a visitor refuses to submit to a search, or if a parent or guardian refuses consent for the search of a minor, the individual shall not be searched by force, but shall be denied entry into the facility.”

ACLU of Virginia lawyers have examined the policy and interpret it to mean just what Peerman assumed that day.

“We would characterize that as a highly coercive policy,” said Bill Farrar, director of strategic communications for ACLU of Virginia.

Peerman says that when she was told the girl must strip and realized her lack of options, she cried.

The girl looked at her and asked what being strip searched meant.

“I told her, that means you have to take all of your clothes off or you’re not going to be able to see your dad,” Peerman said. “That’s when she started crying.”

Peerman said she told the DOC captain and other corrections officers that she was not the girl’s legal guardian. They told her she had to sign the consent form anyway.

Performing the search without a legal guardian’s consent is a clear violation of DOC policy, which states, “Searches shall be conducted on a minor (person under 18 years of age — not emancipated) only with the consent of and in the presence of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.” It also states that if they are not accompanied by a legal guardian and there is “reasonable belief to strip search a minor” that they should not be allowed to visit. (source)

The humiliating search found no contraband.

Peerman described the encounter.

By the time two female corrections officers took them to a bathroom, the girl had stopped crying and was resigned to taking her clothes off.

First Peerman was searched — taking all of her clothes off before being told to bend over and cough. Then it was time for the girl.

After taking off her clothes and also being asked to bend over and cough, she was slowly handed back her clothing, piece by piece. One of the corrections officers asked, “How old are you, sweetheart?”

“I just looked at her and I’m like, ‘That’s not even appropriate to be asking her right now,’ ” Peerman said. “Why would you ask that when she’s naked?” (source)

No contraband was found on Peerman or the child. Peerman’s vehicle was also searched, to no avail. And after all of this, despite finding nothing, they were only allowed to see the child’s father through the glass.

The girl’s mother called the prison and says that the captain “cursed” at her and “hung up on her.”

Governor Northam has suspended the policy.

Governor Northam, of whom I’m usually not a fan, responded with the appropriate level of shock and suspended the policy.

Hopefully, policies that allow for the abuse and humiliation of children won’t just be suspended, they’ll be totally eradicated.

We may not have heard the last from the ACLU on this matter.

The ACLU is rightfully outraged.

What do you think?

Prisons are notorious for coercive behavior, but this was not an inmate. The very idea of this happening to a child makes my blood boil.

Do you believe that corrections officers should be able to coerce children into invasive searches to prevent potential contraband from entering prisons? What is your reaction to this story?

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • “…they were only allowed to see the child’s father through the glass.”

    This is ridiculous! Even if she had come in with a backpack full of contraband, how much could she get to her father through glass? Any? A strip search was completely unnecessary!

    • You just know that an 8 year old child didn’t come to that prison alone. We’re not getting the entire story, but then we never do, do we?

      • …and by that, I mean why did the dog key on the girl in the first place? Was the bipolar, ADHD “girlfriend” smoking drugs around the girl prior to visiting the prison? Or was the dog trained to key on anyone on command from its handler? Both are distinct possibilities.

        Was the girl living with someone who was not a legal guardian, if so why?

        This is a very ugly story with NO good players involved.

      • She came with her father’s girlfriend, who is referenced in the article. The guards had the girlfriend sign the permission form so they could search the girl.

        • Yes, I know. I read the article! But that doesn’t address the K9 issue. Why did the dog alert in the first place? Was it prompted by its handler for nefarious purposes (it damned sure happens all the time), or did the girl reek of drugs from being around the girlfriend (that happens all the time too!)?

          What was the father incarcerated for? Odds are it was a drug offense, as that is statistically the largest offense percentage of the prison population.

          We know the mother is a basket case from what little the article revealed. Is she also a former ward of the State? If so…why? It appears she doesn’t have custody of her child, or at least control of the child. Wassup wid dat?

          As I said…there is a LOT more to this story than meets the eye.

          It is a reprinted article with commentary, so you needn’t take offense here. I have no problem with your commentary. And it’s a story that needs to be told. I just know human nature, I know the sloth and deceptiveness of the media, and I want the whole truth about a horrific occurrence involving State officials in my home State. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying as much either.

          • You’re making a lot of inferences which were not in the article. The article DID state, clearly, that the dog alerted only on the adult female, NOT the girl, and that it was the CAPTAIN who required the girl to be strip-searched. He’s likely a pedo involved in a child porn ring.

            The child’s custody wasn’t addressed at all. It’s entirely possible the child’s mother allowed her to visit her father for Thanksgiving, but didn’t want to go through the humiliations that are far too common for people visiting prisons, and so allowed the “other woman” to escort the child for the visit. Your inference that the mother “is a basket case” is entirely unsupported by the article.

            I agree that this incident must be investigated, and the entire, unbiased story must be published for the sake of reducing corruption in the “corrections” system.

            • “The child’s mother said she already suffers from bipolar, depression, and ADHD. I’m sure this will not help matters for her.”

              If I misunderstood that sentence it is because it was poorly crafted. It can be taken to mean that the mother is suffering these things, or the girl is suffering them. We obviously took opposite forks in the road at that literary train wreck.

              “She” was never properly identified in that sentence. The author should have been more precise. And yet, people the world over complain about “grammar Nazis” who insist on proper spelling and use of the English language.

              Words have meaning, but a butchered sentence is worse than useless…and there’s your proof. I guess we were supposed to telepathically intuit the writer’s thoughts on who “she” was when it was written.

              And we’re still no closer to determining which of us is correct…but the fault is neither yours nor mine.

              • The author (me) was certainly precise enough for anyone reading carefully, as the paragraph before was entirely about the trauma the girl had suffered. You should really attempt a bit more tact and less insult when referring to my “butchered sentences” unless you wish to receive an equally harsh reply. You seem to be the only person who had difficulty comprehending what should have been a simple concept. In fact, you missed numerous pertinent details that other readers and I had to reiterate to you. So is the issue with the writer or the reader? Nobody else seems to have fallen victim to the “literary train wreck” by which you have apparently been run over.

                I rarely get insulted by people who criticize my work – it happens daily and if you think the comments are bad, you should see my email inbox. But for some reason, this is pushing my buttons today. If it was only this article, I would just say, “Okay, that topic is just not one that is working for him.”

                But on my last article, you lectured me about hypocrisy and suggested that I do not understand the meaning of security in one’s person and papers. Privacy is a major component of my research and I’m quite certain my comprehension of this subject is up to par. (Incidentally, you never replied to my suggestion about maintaining your privacy when commenting. I guess you missed that.)

                I love your enthusiasm for the topics that leads you to comment frequently but I wish you could do so without being quite so argumentative. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but the goal in the comments section is civil discussion. My only goal here is to bring things that I feel are important to light and to help others. I’m not the enemy. Please try to be less abrasive and I think you’ll see far better conversations begin happening. 🙂

                Have a great day!

              • What an abelistic attitude!
                “Suffering from”? Are you serious? How about “living WITH”?! I have a depression disorder. I deal with it. I LIVE WITH it. I don’t suffer from it.

                People HAVE diabetes. They don’t suffer from it.

                They were in the wrong on a few different things….even by their own rules and protocols.

                Nevermind the inappropriateness of them asking her age while she’s standing there naked!

                (Like what in the actual fuck?)

                I would never subject my child(ren) to such an invasion!

                And…you know what they say about assuming shit right?

                You….DON’T know why her father is there! Yet, in you high horse mentality…you automatically think drugs and alcohol. My sister – although a very stupid move – is currently in jail for driving on a suspended license. Stupid mistake. She knows. But NOT there for drugs or alcohol.

                And what about people there because of other reasons? Coulda been gambling, coulda been tax evasion. You DON’T know.
                #judgementalMuch? ????‍♀️

                I….DO agree however …i know as fact having had worked with working dogs….that there are shadey practices of handlers to get dogs to falsely alert them. AND WITH THIS…..going back to the article….the adult woman was the targeted alert! NOT the little girl!

            • As for the inferences…it’s called critical thinking. It’s a thing. You see, news is SUPPOSED to make you think…not tell you WHAT to think.

              I realize our Overlords would prefer we didn’t think for ourselves, but I don’t get my orders from them.

              Your concern for the little girl is commendable, but like my own concern, I’m sure it will have no effect on her dismal prospects for a future. The damage has been done…and I’m sure that worse is coming.

              On the bright side, have you noticed that not one person has interjected race into this discussion? I find that quite refreshing!

          • “We know the mother is a basket case from what little the article revealed. Is she also a former ward of the State? If so…why? It appears she doesn’t have custody of her child, or at least control of the child. Wassup wid dat?”

            Huh??? Does ANY of that matter? AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL WAS STRIP SEARCHED, and you want to know what’s up with the mother??

  • We all gravitate to jobs that can provide us with more than just money. We desire “job satisfaction”. It is human nature.

    What does it say about a person who takes a job as a prison screw?

    I’ve only known one personally, and she was a self important prig who thought she was better than everyone she met. She lived like a pig in a rotting down house, renounced God publicly, cheated on her husband and stole from her brother before robbing him of his inheritance.

    Jeffrey Epstein didn’t hang himself…and who’s “care” was he in when it happened? Prison guards.

    Evil is as evil does. You’ll know a tree by the fruit it bears. That is why this story doesn’t surprise me in the least. I am not shocked at all. I AM greatly saddened that I have to share this planet with such vermin. And I thank God daily that it is only a temporary situation!

    • Prison screw? Yeah that’s original… How many years did you do my friend? As a former Corrections Officer, I can assure you that I did not take the job, for anything else but to earn a living, and provide for my family. I can also assure you that sick individuals have been known to use little children to act as miles. Putting drugs, and other contraband in their diapers, or worse in their body cavities. Yes I have seen it happen. You see because someone who is desperate for that fix doesn’t care about a child. If they cared, they wouldn’t be in prison.

      • You’re truly fortunate that this site censors comments. I don’t care what you say you saw. I don’t accept the LIE that C.O.’s are “clean as the driven snow”…and if you weren’t dirty, you sure as hell looked the other way while your co-workers broke the law.

        We’re done here.

  • OMG! As a correctional officer in AZ this would never happen!. If the dog keyed on the girl or woman,they would be told to leave and possibly removed from the visitation list. Then again,if the girl was not related to the inmates girlfriend, she wouldn’t have been on the visitation list. The captain and officers involved need to be fired.

    • You also know that a Dog can be “Keyed” on a popcorn fart if the officer motions to the dog to key….
      ive seen it to many times and they found nothing……. there trained for illegal search’s also…

  • To Charles in VA. I am a correctional off,not ‘prison guard ” Most of the time CO’s spend on duty is not power tripping,it’s trying to keep inmates from fighting each other. We do not carry weapons,only a radio and pepper spray. I doubt if you have what it takes to be one

    • Sounds like I’ve struck some nerves here! Who knew Daisy’s site was full of screws? And I thank God every day that i “don’t have what it takes” to be a prison guard! I would rather be a lawyer or an executioner. They have more honor.

      I guess we see how Trump’s economy works now. Every third waste of flesh in the country works for the State in the prison system!

      America is in dire need of an enema.

      • Charles, you have NO IDEA what you are talking about.
        Yes, tihis country needs an enema to flush out fools like you right down the toilet.
        Answer the previous question……how long were you in prision for your crimes?

        BTW: this story is totally suspect, COs do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT have legal authority to “strip search” visitors!!!!!

  • Having worked in a peripherally connected industry, I’ve learned that convicts will manipulate their own children into smuggling drugs and other contraband into whatever facility in which they find themselves. Too, I once knew a young woman who routinely shiplifted items out of stores by hiding the smaller items in their infant’s diaper or in the underpants of toddlers. Her reasoning–which proved correct–was that if caught, the kids wouldn’t be prosecuted…

  • As a mother and grandmother I hate that tjis child was treated like this. But having visited men in jails and prisons as a pastor I’ve seen family smuggle drugs into facilities. No one had legal right to sign for the child to be searched. And I’m deeply saddened it happen ed. I am glad she ultimately did see her father. Instead of the search they could just have easily let them visit as it turned out without contact since it was through glass. No transfers possible.

    • Face facts. The LARGE shipments of drugs entering the prison system do so with the assistance of corrupt prison guards “supplementing” their incomes by taking bribes.

      Yeah…drug addicts do some pretty irresponsible sh!t. How often do prison guards get drug tested? How often do they get audited to verify they’re living within their means? Evil is not confined by your preconceptions, nor is it exempt from any occupation.

  • Somebody at the prison needs to get a new dog as well. How many other visitors have been subjected to a false positive alert . . . .

  • If a person (or child) refuses to be searched, just have them visit through the glass so nothing can be passed along. They did this anyway, even after the search (which seems rather cruel to me). Jeesh – what’s happened to common sense?

  • So, Dad is in jail, the child is with a non custodial adult who set off the drug dogs and Mom didn’t know about ANY of this until the child mentioned it, and then she made a stink.

    How much you want to bet that DCS is going to try to have this kid taken away from Mom? And really, she wouldn’t have much of a case against it under the circumstances.
    Unfortunately, people use kids to bring in drugs and other contraband all the time.
    I’m sorry for the little girl, but more because the adults around her are making such bad decisions.

    • Yep. No happy ending to this story at all. That little girl’s life is all but over before it even began. What those A holes put her through will color every relationship she has for the rest of time. How do you compensate someone for something like that? What Justice could possibly remedy that wrong?

      And to add injury to injury, she’ll get farmed out to CPS, then straight into human trafficking as a prostitute more than likely. If I didn’t know better, I’d say this whole thing was a CIA op. It might well have been. Victims have to come from somewhere, don’t they?

  • The dog needs to have his drug sniffing skills examined. Though contraband does make it into a prison, most of the time it isNOT Via a visitor. Requiring a child to strip search is horrid on so many levels. Requiring a non legal guardian to sign a release is flat illegal. My state visiting regulations state fully clothed full body pat downs. No child can visit without a legal guardian or relative without court order permission. Sounds like the laws or administrative regulations need to be changed.

  • I wonder if the prison has surveillance cameras in that bathroom where the woman and girl were strip-searched. I wonder if the captain who demanded the girl be strip-searched is part of a pedophile/child porn ring. I hope those who are currently investigating child porn rings will look in detail at the captain’s life. In EVERY detail. Strip-search him and his vehicle while they’re at it. Grrr……..

    • Amen. Things like this don’t “just happen”. Someone went out of their way to make it happen.

      And, yeah…GRRR!

      No wonder they want to take our guns. They know they deserve to be shot.

  • Strip search an 8 year old? What, are the Crips recruiting in the grade schools now? Or maybe they thought she was working for ISIS, and was smuggling in an IED.

    This is an
    plain and simple.

    Whatever this child’s father did, or what his girlfriend is like, there are ZERO good reasons for committing child abuse in the name of “safety”. About the only long term effect it might have is to make this girl grow up hating everyone who wears a badge and a gun. Is that really what we want? Should all peace officers be lumped in with these Bolsheviks in training?

    It’s mean, and it’s cruel, and it only serves to stoke resentment. So many of us claim that a “new civil war” is coming; are these not the very sort of actions that can set one off?

    About the only good thing I can think of coming from this sickening event is that the next time some liberal dumbass you know spouts off about how “hell yes, we will take your guns”, show them this article and ask them if everyone in America should be disarmed except for people like this. It’s called a “police state” for a reason

  • This simply shows how people are trained to ‘bark on command.’ Instead of refusing to allow the child to be strip-searched and waiting to see what can be legally done about the situation. she allowed the child to go through this unnecessary trauma. This is what happens when people are robots, don’t think, and believe that “every rule” must be followed even when it doesn’t make sense. The sheeple are just as dangerous as their handlers….! I would have taken the ban.

  • EVERYONE AT THIS PRISON,should have been taken out,stood up against a wall and shot,BUT AMERICA would much rather HAVE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN SEND THEM ALL TO HELL,and their wish has been granted,AMERICA will be completely destroyed,and they will suffer terribly as it happens,GOOD for them, its really far less then they deserve,although most of them will be tortured to their death…

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