MT: Jail entry strip searches without RS of even traffic warrant arrestees were reasonable

Strip searches of inmates coming into the county jail without reasonable suspicion the detainee had contraband or weapons were valid under Florence and under the state constitution. “Plaintiffs have not demonstrated the strip searches at issue are not reasonably related to these legitimate penological interests or that their diminished expectation of privacy before being housed in the general population of the detention facility outweighs that interest such that the Montana Constitution prohibits the practice. Given our heightened right to privacy in Montana, we must carefully consider the balance between an individual’s privacy interest and the penological interest. The Plaintiffs contest the detention center’s blanket policy, but do not challenge specific practices. Under these circumstances, the Plaintiffs’ diminished privacy interests do not outweigh the legitimate penological interests of the Detention Center. Although we disagree with the District Court’s analysis, we affirm its decision.” Rogers v. Lewis & Clark County, 2020 MT 230 (Sept. 15, 2020).

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