Sheriff Kevin Joyce has called his second news conference in less than a week to discuss complaints from female lawyers who were told they had to remove their underwire bras before they could be admitted to see clients at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland.

At a news conference Monday, Joyce said that jail officers would no longer ask women to remove their bras if the underwire triggered a metal detector at the entrance, but he did not issue an public apology to the women and said his office had to do an investigation first.

The sheriff’s statements failed to placate Amy Fairfield and Gina Yamartino, attorneys who refused to remove their bras at the jail in recent weeks and spoke publicly about how the incidents upset them.

Joyce met with Fairfield and Yamartino on Wednesday and announced in an emailed statement after their meeting that he will hold a news conference Thursday morning to follow up on the “search procedure investigation at the jail.”

Fairfield said in a phone call Wednesday evening that Joyce told her that he would issue a public apology Thursday, but would not discipline any of his officers for their actions.

“I told him the problem is more extensive than he thinks. It’s not just isolated,” she said.

Fairfield said she went to the meeting Wednesday with a folder containing the names of more than 20 other women who were told to remove their bras before being allowed in to visit inmates.

She said she gave the sheriff a two-week ultimatum to investigate “horrific behavior” by his officers toward female visitors at the jail, and that “every option is on the table” if he doesn’t comply.

Joyce could not be reached for comment Wednesday night. Yamartino did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Joyce said at Monday’s news conference that he had signed off on a new policy drafted by his jail administrator, Maj. John Costello, requiring everyone who comes into the jail to successfully pass through the scanner. But the issue of women being told to remove their bras didn’t get public attention until jail officers began applying it to lawyers.

Joyce hired Costello as his jail administrator last year after multiple security breaches at the jail, including inmates escaping from maximum-security cells for sexual trysts and others smuggling drugs into the facility. As part of Costello’s approach to improving security, he added the more stringent metal detector policy. Costello did not attend Monday’s news conference.

“The policy is real clear, no weapons and contraband. It doesn’t say anything about underwire bras,” Joyce said on Monday.

The jail’s actions have drawn national media attention, including an article on Cosmopolitan magazine’s website. Fairfield said she was interviewed Wednesday for an article to appear in Women’s Health magazine.

Staff members at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine have taken an interest in the issue and have spoken to female attorneys with clients at the jail.

“Any policy that burdens only women raises constitutional concerns — especially one that requires women to take off their underwear in order to do their job,” said Alison Beyea, executive director of the ACLU of Maine. “On top of that, it’s alarming that this policy could deny individuals in jail their right to meet with an attorney. We hope the jail has taken all necessary steps to correct this problem and to ensure that no one is required to remove her bra before entering.”