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Supreme Court upholds jail strip searches, including for minor offenses
April 3, 2012
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that those arrested for even minor violations may be strip-searched before being admitted to jail, saying safety concerns outweigh personal privacy rights.
The court’s conservatives ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip-searched after being mistakenly arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 ruling, saying that correctional officials have good reason to “perform thorough searches at intake for disease, gang affiliation, and contraband.”
“There is a substantial interest in preventing any new inmate, either of his own will or as a result of coercion, from putting all who live or work at these institutions at even greater risk when he is admitted to the general population,” Kennedy wrote.
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