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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Supreme Court: Strip searches in jail OK even for minor offenses

• http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com, By Pete Williams
 Siding with security needs over privacy rights, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that jailers may subject people arrested for minor offenses to invasive strip searches.
 

By a 5-4 vote, the court rejected a challenge from a New Jersey man who argued it's unconstitutional to force everyone to strip down for inspection. Albert Florence was arrested by a state trooper because of an error in the state's records that mistakenly said he was wanted on an outstanding warrant for an unpaid fine. Even if the warrant had been valid, failure to pay a fine is not a crime in New Jersey.

Florence was held for a week in two different jails before the charges were dropped. But at each jail, he was required to shower with delousing soap and undergo a strip search.

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