The reportreleased online last week and referring to events from a day period in Augustprovided a look at how correctional officers at the maximum-security Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward subjected prisoners to sexual embarrassment and harassment, as well as situations of extreme discomfort, seemingly as punishment for two incidents that had taken place earlier in the month. The inmate who filed the complaint said he was then placed naked in a cell that was filled with debris and feces, and had blood on the walls, and was left there for hours.
Pursuant to state regulations, facilities that are used for the confinement of females must have a trained female officer on duty or on call when a female is confined in the facility to perform the following functions: 1 searches, and 2 health and welfare checks. Rules of the Tennessee Corrections Institute, Rule VasquezF. See also Hill v.
McKinley, F. Gardner, F. DownsF. PalmerU. At least one court has construed Hudson as holding categorically that the Fourth Amendment does not protect privacy interests within prisons. In Johnson v.
Phelan, 69 F. The court found that permitting female guards to monitor naked male inmates does not violate the inmates' privacy rights and does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment so long as the monitoring policy has not been adopted to humiliate or harass the inmate.
See also Canedy v. Boardman16 F. But see Peckham v. Wisconsin Dept.
Phelanrejecting interpretation of Canedy and Johnson that Fourth Amendment does not apply to prisoners. Jordan v. In Somers v.
ThurmanF. At the outset, the court noted that "we have never held that a prison guard of the opposite sex cannot conduct routine visual body cavity searches of prison inmates Whether or not such a right exists, however, there is no question that it was not clearly established at the time of the alleged conduct. The court distinguished Somers from Jordan by noting that the "psychological differences between men and women," In Carlin v. Manu72 F. The district court held that the male correctional officers were entitled to qualified immunity on the female inmates' claims that skin searches by female correctional officers in the presence of the male officers violated their Fourth and Eighth Amendment rights, since observation by male guards during strip searches of female inmates was not clearly identified as unlawful under existing constitutional law.
Other courts, including the Sixth Circuit, have concluded that inmates retain limited rights to bodily privacy under the Fourth Amendment. In Cornwell v.
Dahlberg, F. The court based its conclusion on the Fourth Amendment but without mentioning Hudson. See also Everson v.
Michigan Dept. In an earlier case the Sixth Circuit did cite Hudson and noted that the United States Supreme Court has never held that the Fourth Amendment "right to privacy" encompasses the right to shield one's naked body from view by members of the opposite sex.
Kent v. JohnsonF. Mills v.
City of BarbourvilleF. See also Roden v. Sowders84 Fed. Search was reasonable under the circumstances and was reasonably related to the legitimate penological interest of security and order. Sowders19 F. Saginaw CountyF. City of KalamazooF. Ask e-Li Need help finding something?
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