ACLU Inquires About Strip Searches at Virginia Jails

April 9, 2012

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is asking sheriffs and jailers for copies of their policies on the use of strip searches.

The request was prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week that detainees for even minor crimes may be strip-searched by law enforcement personnel.

Kent Willis, executive director of the state ACLU, says the ruling is not a license to expand strip searches in Virginia. He says state law makes it clear that strip searches for minor crimes are prohibited in most circumstances.

Willis says he hopes the responses to the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act request will show that local and regional jails are complying with the state law. The request was emailed to Virginia's 145 sheriffs and jail superintendents Thursday.

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