Strip Search in Prison

The Supreme Court recently upheld the use of strip searches as a general policy in prison. In a 5-4 ruling, admitting that while the Court has no expertise in running a jail or prison, any person who is arrested, even if they are just being held temporarily, can be subjected to a routine strip search, as long as the strip search only involves a visual inspection without any touching or abusive gestures. It is also legal for the prisoner to be told to manipulate certain parts of their bodies during this strip search.

This ruling however, only allows these strip searches to be conducted if the prisoner is going to be placed within the general population or among other prisoners in the facility.

In holding so, the Court refused to limit the authority to for the prisons to use strip searches only in cases where a specific individual gave officers a reason to consider that the prisoner could be dangerous or may be carrying a concealed weapon or any drugs. Anyone who is going to be placed with other prisoners, even temporarily, is subject to a strip search.

A full opinion on this ruling may be found here: www.scotusblog.com/2012/04/opinion-analysis-routine-jail-strip-searches-ok

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