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Girl, 8, strip searched to see her father at Virginia prison

State authorities say the move was against department protocol.
Credit: Thinkstock

DILLWYN, Va. — Prison officials in Virginia singled out an 8-year-old girl and strip searched her before allowing her to visit her father.

State authorities say the move was against department protocol. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the father's girlfriend accompanied the child to Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn just before Thanksgiving.

Diamond Peerman says she and the girl were circled by a department of corrections dog trained to sniff out contraband. Peerman was singled out by the dog and told by prison officials that both she and the girl had to be searched.

A Virginia DOC official says prison protocol was breached and the staff member who approved the search didn't have that authority.

Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement about the incident:

"I am deeply disturbed by these reports—not just as Governor, but as a pediatrician and a dad. I’ve directed the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to suspend this policy while the Department conducts an immediate investigation and review of their procedures."

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