Supreme Court OK's Strip Searching for Minor Offenses

 Just in time for Occupy Wall Street's Spring Training, the Supreme Court has decided that it's not bad enough for people arrested on minor offenses to be tossed in jail--nope, now it's OK to strip-search them, too. 

The New York Times reports: 

 Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote.

Under Monday’s ruling, he wrote, "every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed."

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said strip-searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.        

You think? 

Some potential offenses for which you might be strip-searched, according to Breyer: violating a leash law, failing to pay child support, or driving without a license. And it probably goes without saying that protest-related arrests would count. And since the point of strip-searching is to hunt down "contraband" it's pretty clear that drug-related arrests (including the many fromracist stop-and-frisk policies) would count as well. 

AlterNet / By Sarah Jaffe

Posted at April 2, 2012, 9:38am

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