St. Clair County inmates allege group strip search violated rights

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on December 31, 2013 at 7:21 AM

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Dozens of inmates at a southwestern Illinois jail allege their constitutional rights were violated when they underwent group strip searches.

The federal lawsuit against the St. Clair County Jail was earlier filed this month in East St. Louis. The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports the inmates seek $10 million alleging “cruel and unusual” punishment. The 29 inmates allege multiple body cavity searches were conducted in front of other inmates and guards.

The lawsuit contends the searches should been done in private.

St. Clair County Sheriff Rick Watson couldn’t be reached by the newspaper. He didn’t immediately return messages left Tuesday.

A similar lawsuit against the jail was dismissed last week. The judge ruled strip searching prisoners as a group didn’t violate the Constitution if it wasn’t intended to humiliate prisoners.

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