U.S. Appeals Court: SEARCHES.
Roberts v. Rhode Island 239 F.3d 107 (1st Cir. 2001). A detainee challenged the constitutionality of policies of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections that require all males committed to state prison to be subjected to strip searches and body cavity searches. The district court ruled that the policies were unconstitutional and the appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the policies, when applied to those held for minor offenses, were unconstitutional because they were extremely intrusive in nature, and institutional security concerns were insufficient to support such searches without individualized suspicion that the subject was carrying contraband. The court noted that body cavity searches were largely unnecessary in past recoveries of contraband and that intermingling of inmates and detainees at the state intake center was insufficient alone to justify the searchers. The detainee had been stopped for having expired auto registration stickers and a computer check revealed he was the subject of an outstanding body attachment. (Rhode Island Intake Center and Adult Correctional Institution)