• Female inmates sterilized in California prisons without approval [VIDEO]

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    By Corey G. Johnson
    The Center for Investigative Reporting

    Kimberly Jeffrey, seen with son Noel, says that during her incarceration at Valley State Prison she was pressured by a doctor to be sterilized while sedated and strapped to a surgical table for a Caesarean section. She refused, and records show she had already refused during a medical consultation.

    Noah Berger For the Center for Investigative Reporting
    Kimberly Jeffrey, seen with son Noel, says that during her incarceration at Valley State Prison she was pressured by a doctor to be sterilized while sedated and strapped to a surgical table for a Caesarean section. She refused, and records show she had already refused during a medical consultation.

    Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

    At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.

    From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.

    The women were signed up for the surgery while they were pregnant and housed at either the California Institution for Women in Corona or Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, which is now a men’s prison.

    Former inmates and prisoner advocates maintain that prison medical staff coerced the women, targeting those deemed likely to return to prison in the future.

    Read more in The Sacramento Bee

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