Pennsylvania County Reaches $3M Strip-Search Settlement

September 16, 2010

Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit over strip searches for nonviolent offenders.

County solicitor Michael Wojcik tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the county agreed to settle because the courts have recently favored plaintiffs in similar cases.

The plaintiffs sued the county over routine strip searches for those accused of misdemeanor or summary offenses.

Jail officials claimed the searches were necessary because nonviolent offenders could have carried drugs or weapons into the prison. The plaintiffs said their Fourth Amendment rights were violated.

Plaintiff attorney Rob Pierce noted that the jail has changed procedures since the suit was filed.

The $3 million settlement covers about 12,500 people.

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