In a recent video produced by online newscaster The Young Turks, host Ana Kasparian discussed a policy change at the Maine State Prison, which required female visitors to remove bras when visiting with inmates. Bangor Daily News reports that the change occurred after "half a dozen women" complained to the prison. Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick stated that the prison would work to "standardize the prison’s vetting."

Ana Kasparian explained that the rationale behind the policy was to prevent visitors from concealing weapons, or other contraband, in their bras, with the intention of delivering it to inmates.

One visitor stated that the reaction of inmates to female visitors not wearing bras was "noticeable," and expressed that she felt "exposed." Lori Venable continued that "you're in a room with sex offenders and pedophiles. It's embarrassing and its scary."

Prisons must balance safety with 'human decency and respect'

The TYT host commended Commissioner Fitzpatrick's statement that, "while a prison 'can't sacrifice safety,'" it has a duty to balance this mandate with "human decency and respect." Kasparian noted that the story didn't attract a great deal of media attention, and that the commissioner decided to act anyways, based on the merits of the situation itself.

Cenk Uygur, TYT host and co-founder, spoke about possible "dual" purposes behind such regulations.

He acknowledged that hiding contraband in a woman's bra is a legitimate safety concern, but suggested that some prison officials promoting such policies might actually be more interested in merely seeing women not wearing bras. The host compared the situation with the National Security Agency claiming that wiretapping would only occur against enemies in Iraq, when it turned out that the agency was also listening in on the calls of U.S.

service members.

Ana Kasparian urges viewers not to give up privacy

As to the efficacy of preventing women from wearing bras at keeping contraband out of prisons, Cenk Uygur suggested that there are body cavities that prisoners, and prison visitors, have become quite adept smuggling items in. Could a prison with zero-tolerance for contraband demand to perform cavity searches on female prison visitors, the TYT founder pondered, before then adding male visitors as well.

Ana Kasparian encouraged viewers to not be in a hurry to give up personal rights in "the name of safety." She cited ways in which authorities use scare tactics to trick Americans into giving up their privacy. The hosts also discussed the notion that positions that require employees to perform invasive searches, such as "advanced pat downs," seem likely to attract individuals with mental disorder that causes them to enjoy viewing or touching strangers' personal areas.

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