Tennessee jails are offering to sterilize inmates in exchange for shorter sentences
Lawmakers in Tennessee have somehow made the conditions of correctional facilities even less humane with a new practice. News Channel 5 reports that inmates in Tennessee jails have been given the option to receive shorter prison sentences if they agree to receive vasectomies or insert a contraceptive device into their bodies.
Social justice advocates and local activists have come out to condemn the practice that has been in place since May 15. They’re in the camp of people who feel that it’s cruel, unethical and inhumane to pressure people to make a decision that could impact them for the rest of the lives like that.
“Offering a so-called ‘choice’ between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional,” said members of the ACLU.
Judge Sam Benningfield, who signed the standing order, told the news outlet that the move was meant to keep people who can’t support children from having them. Since the program started, 32 women and 38 men have volunteered. The men are still waiting for their procedures.
“I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, to not to be burdened with children,” he said.
“I understand it won’t be entirely successful, but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs. I see it as a win-win,” Benningfield said.
Sure, keeping dozens of people from having kids for 30 days out of jail is definitely the most logical solution here.