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NCJ Number: 98188 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Corrections Law Developments - Search and Seizure of Prison Cells - The Constitution Takes a Holiday
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:21  Issue:3  Dated:(May-June 1985)  Pages:237-243
Author(s): F Cohen
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The treatment of prison room/cell searches in the 1973 Model Rules and Regulations on Prisoners' Rights and Responsibilities is examined and discussed with reference to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Palmer versus Hudson (1984).
Abstract: The approach taken by the Model Rules is a type of administrative warrant procedure. It has the standard objectives of such a procedure: anterior cause and independent review; reduction of opportunities for arbitrary, intrusive conduct; and recordkeeping. In Palmer, the Court asked whether a prisoner has a reasonable right to an expectation of privacy entitling him to fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court's answer was an unequivocal no. The dissenting opinion in Palmer, while agreeing that the case did not involve a violation of procedural due process and that prison administration requires random searches of prison cells, argued for the separation of the search from seizure. Thus, where a cell search arguably may be reasonable under any circumstances, once the search uncovers material that is not contraband, there can be no justification for seizure. The majority decision is another heavy defeat for advocates of prisoners' rights and a move backward to granting almost total discretion to corrections officials. A total of 17 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Legal privacy protection; Prisoner's rights; Right of privacy; Search and seizure laws; US Supreme Court decisions
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