This week the U.S. Supreme Court held that a any person arrested for any offense however minor is subject to a strip search.. I expect this ruling will open the floodgates for jail house strip searches in the search for evidence. The country’s highest court adopted a new standard that any correctional officer can order a strip search. Prior to this ruling , a correctional officer must have had reasonable suspicion that the person possessed contraband. The strip searches embraced by the Court are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states . Also , the court opinion is in violation of international human rights treaties which ban strip searches.
Nashville Davidson County, Tennessee Sheriff Daron Hall applauded the new law in that it gives flexibility to correctional; officers. Sheriff Hall’s opinion is in direct conflict with the standards of the American Correctional Association of which he is president. The new ruling opens up the possibility of abuses;
- How does it apply to foreign nationals who are protected by international treaties ?
- Will a police officer try to encourage a correctional officer to perform a strip search ?
- Will a person in Nashville be arrested rather than being issued a criminal citation ?
The last concern is most important to those charged with a crime in Nashville. In some minor criminal offenses , the police can cite and release a defendant. A criminal citation is issued then a person must later appear to face the charges. A criminal citation is used in simple cases like simple possession of drugs , patronizing prostitution and shoplifting. Now , the police might consider arresting someone in order for correctional officers to perform a strip search.
The next coming issue in this area could be body cavity searches. Is the Court going to approve this search of person’s body cavities next ?