White County Inmate Sterilization Program terminated by federal ruling

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Posted at 2:37 PM, May 23, 2019

SPARTA, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville federal court has terminated a controversial program for inmates in White County that offered reduced sentences to those with misdemeanors if they agree to being put on birth control or having vasectomies.

Two years ago, three inmates who refused to participate in the program sued a White County judge and the Sheriff's office. Now a federal court has sided with these inmates, resulting in this program no longer be implemented.

“Inmate sterilization is despicable, it is morally indefensible, and it is illegal,” said Daniel Horwitz, a constitutional lawyer who represented the inmates. “Let this historic order serve as a warning: Whether you are a sitting Judge, a Sheriff who is ‘just following orders,’ or any other government official, if you violate the Constitution, you will be held accountable.”