Skip to comments.Wrong bra, no bra: Jail bars lawyer
Posted on 06/13/2010 10:30:06 AM PDT by NCjim
Attorney Brittney Horstman was not packing heat.
She was wearing an underwire bra.
And when the metal detector went off on a visit to the Miami Federal Detention Center, security guards wouldn't let Horstman in to see her client.
The attorney reminded guards of a detention center ``memo'' allowing female attorneys wearing an underwire bra to enter. But the guards would not relent.
Horstman stepped into a bathroom and removed her bra. In blouse and jacket, she returned, and cleared the walk-through detector.
Again, guards refused to let her pass -- now, because she was braless, which is against prison dress code guidelines.
``So, simply because I was a woman who wore a specific bra, my client was denied access to his attorney today,'' Horstman e-mailed a group of fellow lawyers on June 4. ``This is completely unacceptable.''
``You are a true defense attorney taking your bra off to try to see your client in jail!'' Horstman's colleague, attorney Carmen Vizcaino, said in an e-mail. ``Betcha none of the guys have done that for their clients.''
This is not the first time guards at the downtown Miami inmate facility have taken exception to the undergarments of female attorneys coming in to see their clients.
A few years ago, the Federal Public Defender's Office, which represents inmates held at FDC-Miami before trial, hammered out an arrangement with the prison allowing female lawyers entry if guards determine -- by using a wand -- that their underwire bras are setting off the detector. Once it's confirmed, the woman can enter.
FDC-Miami officials declined to comment. People familiar with the procedure say the guards on duty that Friday probably didn't get the ``memo.''
A spokeswoman referred a reporter to its dress code posted on the prison facility's Web page. The policy requires that women wear bras, but doesn't specifically prohibit underwire styles.
But the FDC's dress code, which stresses ``appropriate attire,'' has a laundry list of restrictions. Women, for example, cannot wear sweat pants, sweat shirts, sun dresses, leotards, wraparound skirts, crop tops, low cut blouses, zippered dresses/shirts, button-down dresses/skirts or low-cut dresses.
They also cannot wear ``any type of garment that is see-through . . . or clothing that is tight and sexually suggestive or revealing.''
As for both women and men, the FDC prohibits ``any clothing similar to that issued to staff or inmates: khaki, orange, green military fatigue, and plain white T-shirts.''
The Horstman incident was worked out after the Federal Public Defender's Office contacted Warden Linda McGrew.
``The incident, while regrettable and unfortunate, appears to be an aberration,'' said Michael Caruso, the public defender's chief assistant.
The warden ``conducted her own inquiry, she resolved the situation to our satisfaction and she said it won't happen again,'' he said.
Horstman, a former lawyer in the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office who is now in private practice, declined to comment.
She noted in her e-mail to colleagues that she had been allowed into the FDC with an underwire bra in the past -- but not on June 4.
At least one other woman, former Miami federal prosecutor Lilly Ann Sanchez, said she also had trouble getting into the FDC to see clients a few years ago.
Female attorneys always thought the FDC's anti-underwire bra policy was ``discriminatory,'' and were relieved when the Federal Public Defender's Office and the prison worked out an agreement, she said.
``I had several instances where I was wearing an underwire bra and they wouldn't let me in,'' said Sanchez, who now practices criminal defense law.
``One time, I went into the bathroom and took it off so I could clear the metal detectors.''
It’s better to be strangled with your bra than not wear one. Makes me wonder if they’ll do a panty check next.
Let’s see some PICS here. Otherwise, how can we evaluate the story?
If she’s wearing a jacket over her blouse, who can tell if she’s wearing a bra or not?
Probably better without picture.
You mean how can we determine guilt?
“Betcha none of the guys have done that for their clients.”
Just how many cross-dressing attorneys do they have in that town?
Yes Before and after pictures.
Here she is...a hung jury perhaps?
Nothin’ in ‘em! ;-)
Tempest in a teapot. If you know the rules, wear a different bra or remove the wires before you get to checkpoint.
Why is everything a federal case?
You BETCHA! To see if the concerns were WARRANTED! LOL.
May I remind you that this is Miami, we are discussing.
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