Tag Archive: forced nudity

Apr 08 2012

Squat and Spread Your Cheeks

Thanks to five out of nine Supreme Court justices at the urging of the Obama administration that’s what 14 million Americans a year can expect to hear when they get arrested and sent to jail.  That includes several hundred thousand people per year arrested for minor infractions, everything from having unpaid traffic tickets to, oh, what is it that protesters get charged with… disorderly conduct, public nuisance or irritating an idiot that has mistakenly been issued a badge, a gun and a can of mace.

Supreme court justices allow for routine strip-searches of inmates in US jails

By a 5-4 vote and splitting along conservative-liberal ideological lines, the high court ruled that privacy rights involving the searches were outweighed by security concerns by jails about a suspect hiding drugs, weapons or other contraband.

The decision could have broad impact as nearly 14 million Americans spend time in jail or prison every year, including an estimated 700,000 people in jail for less serious misdemeanor offenses.

The justices upheld a ruling by a US appeals court based in Philadelphia that it was reasonable to search everyone entering a jail, even without suspicion of any criminal activity.

The decision was a victory for the jails and for the Obama administration, which argued for an across-the-board rule allowing strip-searches of all those entering the general jail population, even those arrested on minor offenses.

In Justice Breyer’s dissent in Florence vs Board of Chosen Freeholders he makes clear just what sort of searches that the Supreme Court at the urging of the Obama administration has given a blanket imprimatur to:

‘a visual inspection of the inmate’s naked body. This should include the inmate opening his mouth and moving his tongue up and down and from side to side, removing any dentures, running his hands through his hair, allowing his ears to be visually examined, lifting his arms to expose his arm pits, lifting his feet to examine the sole, spreading and/or lifting his testicles to expose the area behind them and bending over and/or spreading the cheeks of his buttocks to expose his anus. For females, the procedures are similar except females must in addition, squat to expose the vagina.’