The Point: Eugenics in a Tennessee Jail

Today, I’m agreeing with the ACLU. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Jail inmates in White County, Tennessee can receive 30 days credit toward their jail time, not for “good behavior,” but for agreeing to undergo a birth control procedure.

The 38 men who’ve joined the program so far will be given a free vasectomy plus 30 days off their sentence.  The 32 women in the program received a free contraception implant which prevents pregnancy for four years.

The ACLU is calling the program, was signed into practice by Judge Sam Benningfield, unconstitutional. But Benningfield says the program will break the vicious cycle of repeat offenders by “not burdening them with children.”

The ACLU is right, but this program is not only unconstitutional, it’s unconscionable. It’s eugenics, and an early advocate of a proposal like this was Margaret Sanger, who not only wanted to keep criminals from reproducing, but also the poor and African Americans.

Shame on you Judge Benningfield. This type of program is just as awful today as it’s always been.


White County Inmates Given Reduced Jail Time If They Get Vasectomy
  • Chris Conte | | July 19, 2017

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