Multiple courts (including the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals) have decided that whether a prisoner can be strip-searched depends on several factors, including whether the prisoner is being placed in general population of the jail, whether or not there is reason to believe that he will have contraband, etc.
Even if prison officials are entitled to perform strip searches of prisoners, however, the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments still require that they be done for a legitimate purpose, and not to harass or humiliate prisoners. The Constitution also forbids them from carrying out the strip search in a harassing and humiliating way.
Loevy & Loevy has extensive experience bringing claims challenging strip searches in both prisons and jails. For example, in Young v. County of Cook, we represented men detained at the Cook County Jail who had been subjected to abusive and humiliating shakedowns. In that case, we successfully obtained a $55 million class action settlement and helped convince the Sheriff’s Office to change its policy on searching detainees.
We currently represent a class of women who were strip searched in March 2011 at Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois, as part of a cadet training exercise. The district court in that case has certified the class, and the case is ongoing. For more information, click here.
Loevy & Loevy has extensive experience representing men and women in custody in jail or prison. We have filed over 100 cases concerning prisoners’ rights. We have taken on individual clients and represented classes of prisoners numbering in the thousands. We have obtained highly favorable verdicts and settlements for prisoners and/or their loved ones. For more information on our successes, visit our Big Wins page.
Loevy & Loevy has offices in Chicago and Denver, but we take cases across the country and have represented prisoners or their loved ones in states all over the country, including Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Alabama, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and more.
When we take a case, it’s because we believe that a serious constitutional violation has occurred and we are committed to trying to achieve justice for our client. Even though many cases eventually reach settlement, we approach each case with an eye toward getting it into a courtroom. Loevy & Loevy is known for its willingness to take hard cases to trial (and win them), and has a nationally recognized reputation for success in the courtroom.
We always work on a contingency basis in prisoners’ rights cases, so you will not be on the hook for any attorney fees unless we win.
Many prisoners’ rights cases require medical or correctional experts to give opinions about the standard of care in the correctional setting. These experts and other costs associated with civil litigation can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Loevy & Loevy agrees to front the costs for our clients so that they can vindicate their constitutional rights even if they cannot afford to pay.
If you or your loved one has been the victim of an abusive strip search, contact us today for a free consultation. You can call us at (312) 243-5900, toll-free (888) 644-6459, or contact us online.
You can also write us at:
Loevy & Loevy
Attn: Prisoners’ Rights
311 North Aberdeen St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60607
If you are currently incarcerated, please remember to write “Legal Mail” or “Attorney Mail” on the envelope.
Please keep in mind that all legal claims have deadlines—called statutes of limitations—that require you to file a lawsuit within a certain period of time in order to preserve your legal rights. These deadlines can be quite short (sometimes within six months to a year) and do not stop running even while you are looking for legal representation.
Topic: Police Misconduct
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