Court Rules That Jail’s Strip Search Policy is Constitutional

August 8, 2017

Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins of the U.S. District Court of Central Illinois granted summary judgment in favor of Kankakee County Sheriff, the Chief of Corrections, and jail staff in Jackson v. Bukowski, et al., No. 16-cv-2050. Plaintiff Brandon Jackson claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when he was strip searched by the correctional officers on five different occasions upon his return to general population from court.

Plaintiff was classified as a “high-risk-movement” detainee, and jail administration authorized strip searches of him when he returned to jail from court. Plaintiff did not challenge the jail’s strip search policy, nor the manner in which the searches were conducted. Instead, Plaintiff claimed that because of his designation as a high-risk-movement detainee, the circumstances surrounding his monitored movement and strict supervision made it impossible for him to acquire any contraband while being transported to and from pretrial proceedings and, thus, the strip searches were unconstitutional.

The Court disagreed, holding that the jail’s policy and practice was reasonable. The Court found that the strip searches were not performed to harass or humiliate, and that no jury could reasonably find that the strip searches were undertaken to harass, humiliate, or punish Plaintiff within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment. Michael Condon and Tara Grimm represented the Defendant Sheriff and jail staff.

Jackson v. Bukowski, et al.

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