Insurers to Pay $2.8M in New Jersey Strip-Search Settlement

July 14, 2009

A southern New Jersey county has approved a $4 million settlement that could end a class-action lawsuit over strip searches done at its jail.

The suit claimed unnecessary strip searches were conducted on thousands of men and women at the Gloucester County jail, regardless of whether they were being held on indictable offenses such as murder or armed robbery or a nonindictable offenses such as traffic violations.

County freeholders this week unanimously approved a resolution supporting the agreement, which must be approved by a federal judge.

County administrator Chad Bruner called the settlement fair, saying the county now has a clearer policy on when officers can perform strip searches.

The county will pay about $1.2 million of the settlement, with insurance companies covering the remainder.

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