By Dinky Manek Enty
For the more than 2.7 million children in the United States with an incarcerated parent, the love and connection a visit can bring are tempered by the fear of driving past razor wire, passing through metal detectors, and being subjected to the scrutiny of uniformed guards.
But soon, some children may face an even more disturbing intrusion. Under new regulations recently proposed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), visitors will be subjected to canine searches in an effort to prevent the flow of contraband such as drugs and cell phones into the state’s prisons. Should the search result in a positive alert (even a false positive, which research has shown comprise as many as 80 percent of all positive identifications), the visitor in question must submit to a strip search or else forgo the visit. The regulations make no exception for children, and existing CDCR paperwork regarding unclothed searches explicitly includes accompanying minors.