AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — April Dunbar was released from Amherst County Adult Correctional Facility earlier this year and is using her experience to help women like her get a bra from behind bars.
When she went to jail about two years ago, she spent the first month without a bra, until another inmate gave her one.
“They give you a couple pairs of underwear,” she said, “but you don’t get a bra, and you don’t get a t-shirt, so you’re in a one piece jumper that buttons up.”
She said some women will craft bras out of underwear, which is considered contraband and can come with punishment. She also said the bras sold in commissary can be too expensive for some to afford, and that’s a health concern.
“This is a bra. This is something that supports women, especially women that have had surgery there,” she said. “You want as much support as you can get. You don’t want to have issues later on in life from having an extended period of time without a bra.”
And for those with nothing under their jump suit, it’s also a matter of dignity.
“When you have to use the restroom, you have to completely expose yourself, and if someone is looking at the camera, that’s really humiliating.”
Her solution is the Inmate Bra Project.
Her goal is to collect sports bras with no underwire to donate to inmates of Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority, particularly Amherst County Adult Detention Center, where she spent most of her time.
She’s gotten offers for donations, but she’s waiting for approval.
“I have spoke with the major and the captain at Amherst jail. They are both very supportive,” she said. “However, they have to go to their higher-ups. They have to go to their boss, so I took a proposal letter, the one I posted on Facebook, and ti took it to the jail so that they could give it to their bosses and see where it goes from there.”
We reached out to the administrator with Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority to see if they will approve this donation program, but he was not available to comment.
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