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PACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

America's Forgotten Mass Imprisonment of Women Believed to Be Sexually Immoral (history.com)

 

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Author: Scott W. Stern's article, please click here.

Under the 'American Plan,' women could be detained for sitting in a restaurant alone, changing jobs—or, often, for no reason at all.

For much of the 20th century in America, a little-known but widespread government program locked people up without trials simply for having sexually transmitted infections—and then forced them to undergo dangerous, poisonous “treatments.”

From the 1910s through the 1950s, and in some places into the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of American women were detained and forcibly examined for STIs. The program was modeled after similar ones in Europe, under which authorities stalked “suspicious” women, arresting, testing and imprisoning them.

If the women tested positive, U.S. officials locked them away in penal institutions with no due process. While many records of the program have since been lost or destroyed, women’s forced internment could range from a few days to many months. Inside these institutions, records show, the women were often injected with mercury and forced to ingest arsenic-based drugs, the most common treatments for syphilis in the early part of the century. If they misbehaved, or if they failed to show “proper” ladylike deference, these women could be beaten, doused with cold water, thrown into solitary confinement—or even sterilized.

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