February 27, 2005
The state Correction Department has paid $43,500 to four inmates at the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women who said they were strip searched and assaulted by other inmates and to a fifth who was beaten when she refused to participate.
Warden Annie Harvey described the strip searches as "a game" that involved one group of inmates probing the private areas of four other inmates with latex gloves, as if the searchers were looking for contraband.
But the inmates said they were coerced. They said the probing was painful; medical records show it caused tears, bruising and infection. The inmates say the officer in charge of the unit, Kathy Hatley, supplied the latex gloves and walked away after seeing the naked inmates.