AP: Investigation of CA inmate sterilizations urged after audit

June 20, 2014

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson called the findings shocking. She said she fears that inmates may feel pressure to undergo sterilization.

"The experience in and of itself is extraordinarily coercive," Jackson said of obtaining health care behind bars. "It's very difficult for a woman to exercise her free will under those circumstances."

Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, is the author of a bill that would make it clear that the state's prisons and jails are prohibited from sterilizing inmates for the purpose of birth control. The measure passed the Senate 36-0 last month and is before the Assembly. Auditors said there was confusion over the prison policy.