Rome, N.Y. - A mother and daughter from Gloversville travel an hour and a half each way from Gloversville to the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome at least once a month, if not more, to see 65 year old Michael Mach who is serving a 3 1/3 to 10 year state prison sentence for a DWI accident that killed a passenger in his car when he crashed it, in Johnstown in August of 2015. The family says that passenger was Michael Mach's best friend.
On Sunday, Michele Diacterino and her 20-year-old daughter Ciera Mach made the trip to see Mach, who is Michele's ex-husband and Ciera's dad.
But on this trip, Michele says the pair were not allowed in to the prison to see Mach.
"We did the due process. We filled out our paperwork. Our usual wait, it's usually from 2 to 3 hours, on average, just to get into see our loved one. And then you go through a second building where they have to approve your clothing. As you can see we wear cotton pants, we don't wear flip-flops, we don't wear tight clothing. We make sure no skin is showing, we wear turtlenecks plus extra shirts. Today my daughter went in and they took one look at her and said 'you're not allowed in because of your pants'. I said 'these are not spandex, they are not yoga pants, they are cotton pants'."
Ciera says she weighs about 250 pounds and says it's only because of her weight that the upper portion of her black cotton pants are a bit tight. The bottom portion of the pants from her knees to her ankles is not tight.
Ciera says these pants that she wore on Sunday are the very same pants she has worn every visit to the Mohawk Correctional since her father entered the facility more than a year ago.
"For them to tell us today that is not acceptable, why is it not acceptable? You said it's been ok every other day of the year, but not today."
Michele says she and her daughter both follow the state's dress code guidelines closely.
"As you can see we wear our hair up, our make up is off, we wear no jewelry, we have gone through every detail that they have asked us to do, every detail."
Michele says she was especially shocked she and her daughter were not allowed in on Sunday after she says a woman in front of them, whom was wearing very tight pants from her waist down to her ankles, was let in.
"The leggings were like a knit sock, clung right straight through the ankle and it looked like it was painted on. And she was allowed access, but my daughter was not."
Our WKTV crew was not allowed on the Mohawk Correctional Facility property on Sunday by prison security, but we did give our contact information to a guard to have someone call us back, but so far no one from the State Department of Corrections has done so.
On the State Department of Corrections website, it lists a dress code for visitors to state's prisons, but says nothing about tight pants.
Michele says she understands the need for a dress code at a prison and feels she and her daughter have done everything possible to abide by it.
"We do realize the jail's position on this. They're trying to protect the community from the sexual predators, we understand that. We need help from somebody. I don't know who to talk to at this point, I don't know where to go, but we need help. If we can't get in, or other loved ones can't get in, they're denying their inmates that right, there denying the families that right."
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