Tag: strip-searches

9th Circuit Upholds Strip Searches of Arrestees

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld San Francisco's policy of strip-searching arrestees without individualized suspicion they were concealing contraband. The opinion is here.

"The record reveals a pervasive and serious problem with contraband inside San Francisco's jails, as well as numerous instances in which contraband was found during a search, indicating that arrestees' use of body cavities as a method of smuggling drugs, weapons, and items used to escape custody is an immediate and troubling problem for San Francisco jail administrators," Ikuta wrote for the majority. She said the policy was reasonably adopted by the jail for "maintaining security for inmates and employees by preventing contraband smuggling."

..."[W]e conclude that San Francisco's policy requiring strip searches of all arrestees classified for custodial housing in the general population was facially reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, notwithstanding the lack of individualized reasonable suspicion as to the individuals searched."

Hopefully the case will now get to the Supreme Court as other federal districts disagree. In fact, even the Supreme Court this year put some limits on strip searches. [More...]

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