ABA Weighs in on Supreme Court Strip Search Case
CHICAGO, Oct. 11, 2011 – Individuals arrested and detained for misdemeanor offenses or crimes that do not involve violence or drugs and do not suggest a motive or opportunity to smuggle contraband into a prison or other detention facility should not be strip searched, the American Bar Association urges the U.S. Supreme Court in its amicus brief in Albert W. Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Burlington (New Jersey) et al., scheduled for hearing on Oct. 12.
In its brief, the ABA cites its Standards for Criminal Justice, the Treatment of Prisoners, in suggesting that the court should strike an appropriate balance between the invasion of personal rights and the government’s interest in maintaining secure prisons and other detention facilities. The standards recognize that a strip search is a grave and inherently degrading intrusion on an individual’s rights and should not be carried out on every person who is arrested and detained. Strip searches instead should be limited to those for whom there is individualized, reasonable suspicion that they may have contraband.
The brief is available here.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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