By: Jason D. Briel, Esq.
A New Jersey man took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and after a seven year battle, the Court ruled 5-4 that blanket strip search policies for detainees are not a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
In 2005, Albert Florence was arrested after his wife was pulled over for speeding. The officer who pulled him over noticed there was a warrant for his arrest due to an unpaid fine. (Turns out the fine had actually been paid prior to his arrest). During his time as a non-criminal detainee, he was strip searched on two occasions. Mr. Florence brought a suit claiming the tactics of the prisons were a violation of his civil rights.
However, the U.S. Supreme court ruled his 4th amendment rights were not violated and prisons do not need suspicion or cause to search a detainee, even a non-criminal detainee.
The Court stated:
Maintaining safety and order at institutions requires the expertise of correctional officers, who must have substantial discretion to devise reasonable solutions to the problems they face.
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