High Court: Strip Searches OK, Even for Minor Offenses

Strip searches in jail for people arrested for minor offenses are not unconstitutional, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 5-4 ruling came in the case of Albert Florence, who was arrested by New Jersey state troopers erroneously, based on a mistaken warrant for an unpaid fine. Before the erroneous charges against him were dropped, Florence was held for a week in two jails where he was strip-searched. Florence maintained that the strip searches were unconstitutional in the absence of reasonable suspicion that he was carrying a weapon or drugs. The court's majority reasoned in its opinion, penned by frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy, that jail officials could not reasonably be expected to know which of their millions of prisoners were dangerous since criminal records often aren't available during intake.

Contact Us