Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pink Prison Jumpsuits Defended For S. Carolina Inmates Who Perform Sex Acts

Inmate calls it risky to punish sex acts with unmanly wardrobe.

And Conservatives wonder why they are compared to Nazis.

The Charlotte Observer reports:
South Carolina's prisons director on Tuesday defended a policy of punishing inmates who perform sex acts by dressing them in pink, despite a lawsuit claiming the rule subjects prisoners to ridicule.

State Corrections Department John Ozmint said the two-year-old punishment deters inmates and protects female officers. His agency has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

"We don't believe the United States Constitution protects an inmate's right to publicly gratify himself," Ozmint said. "We're hopeful federal courts won't look into our Constitution and create such a right."
Inmate Sherone Nealous, 31, filed the lawsuit in June 2006, claiming the Corrections Department "is placing inmates' lives and physical well-being in danger."

"The color `pink' in an all-male environment no doubt causes derision and verbal and physical attacks on a person's manhood," Nealous, who is serving a 10-year sentence for assault and battery with intent to kill, wrote in his lawsuit. "This policy also gives correctional officers an easy avenue to label an inmate."

A judge has not ruled on the request by the prisons agency that the case be thrown out. Jury selection has been scheduled for this fall.

The policy allows prison officials to discipline inmates found performing sex acts in front of corrections officers by making them trade their customary tan jumpsuit in for a pink one, which must then be worn for three months.

The practice of punishing inmates (under lock and key, away from women and without any other outlet for sexual satisfaction) for sexually gratifying themselves with one another is because it offends the sensibilities of the guards.

South Carolina's prison brain trust would prefer a bunch of tense men milling around the prison with nothing but time on their hands.

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