This has GOT to be illegal... Judge Promises Reduced Jail Time If Tennessee Inmates Get Vasectomies Colin Dwyer July 21, 2017 NPR As general sessions judge for White County, Tenn., Sam Benningfield says the vast majority of cases he hears are drug-related offenses. The opioid epidemic has hit the state especially hard — resulting in more than 1,400 drug overdose deaths there in 2015 alone, according to the CDC — and he felt that an unusual solution would be necessary to drive home the dangers of illegal drugs for would-be parents. So in May, Benningfield issued a standing order: If inmates at the White County Jail undergo a form of long-term contraception for free — a vasectomy for men or a Nexplanon implant for women — they can shave 30 days off their sentences. "I'm trying to help these folks begin to think about taking responsibility for their life and giving them a leg up — you know, when they get out of jail — to perhaps rehabilitate themselves and not be burdened again with unwanted children and all that comes with that," Benningfield tells CBS News. Others have not seen his order in the same light. After a local News Channel 5 report earlier this week, the order earned national headlines — and significant criticism, both in the county and beyond state lines. Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the state American Civil Liberties Union, condemned the offer as "unconstitutional" in a statement: "Offering a so-called 'choice' between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional. Such a choice violates the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity by interfering with the intimate decision of whether and when to have a child, imposing an intrusive medical procedure on individuals who are not in a position to reject it. Judges play an important role in our community — overseeing individuals' childbearing capacity should not be part of that role." The decisions surrounding long-term contraception "are personal in nature," Bryant Dunaway, the district attorney general for the county, told News Channel 5, "and I think that's just something the court system should not encourage or mandate." But Benningfield, who is also offering two days credit to any inmate who attends a state-run education program on neonatal abstinence syndrome, tells CBS that this order "is not forced on them." It's not that they were not forced to undergo the procedures, or even not coerced...it's that it is obscene... and possibly illegal. What if we made a law saying that all judges need to be sterilized, or maybe have their arms and legs removed, or literally blind them so that they don't get distracted by shiny things. Same principle.