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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Appeal Of Burlco Man Who Was Strip-Searched Twice

Publication Date: 
October 13, 2011
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Jan Hefler

Lecturer Thomas C. Goldstein argued before the Supreme Court that county jail officials should use discretion in conducting strip searches on prisoners arrested for nonviolent offenses. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jan Hefler quoted him in the following article:

Is it permissible, under the Constitution, to order a man to disrobe and shower in front of corrections officers even though he was arrested for a nonviolent offense?

Would it be acceptable if the officers maintained a distance of at least five feet - or arm's length - while visually inspecting him while he was nude?


Thomas C. Goldstein, who represented Florence, said county jails "do strip everyone for contraband. . . . Their rule is, they can."


Goldstein argued that jail officials should use discretion in deciding whom to strip-search to avoid "too much of an intrusion on an individual's privacy and dignity."