POL 303: The American Constitution
The Fourth Amendment protects individual rights to privacy, but is protection does not apply to all members of society under all circumstances. Because inmates are on continual surveillance, prisoners do not meet the expectations of privacy as you would in a home or office.
- Privacy rights for inmates in a federal or state prisons will all follow the rights of the Constitution. “The Fourth Amendment does not protect prisoners from searches of their personal property by correctional officers” (Goring, 1984). While an inmate in incarcerated there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in their prison cells. The only exception would be for immigration. These persons are not called inmates, they are detainees, and they are afforded all rights to privacy.
- Identify implications for federalism related to the topic.
Male correctional officers have a harder time with being able to conduct searches of a female inmate’s cell. If the inmate is in the cell undressed, she could say that you are looking at her and report you and then you become under investigation for trying to conduct your job.
Identify implications for civil rights related to the topic.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex (Soliman, 2000). This Civil Rights Act allows men to work in a female prison and also allowed women to work in a male prison.
“The privacy of inmates is invades regardless of the gender of the guard” (Ingram, 2000). So when the officer observes an inmate that is unclothed, the inmate should not be allowed to report the officer unless he or she is staring at them and can be proven.
Goring, Darlene C. (Fall 1984). Fourth Amendment – Prison Cells: Is there a Right to Privacy. Journal of Crimina Law and Criminology, Volume 73, Issue 3, Fall, retrieved from http://scholarlycommons.law.northwetern.edu/jclc
- Identify implications for civil liberties related to the topic.
- When conducting a search of an inmates cell, items that have been altered or items removed from their original state is considered contraband. This also would include anything that can be used as a weapon or a threat to the safety and security of a prison facility.
- When inmates have altered an item that they have purchased it becomes contraband. This becomes a problem and could lead to civil suits against an officer is the correct paper work in is completed. The inmate needs to have a receipt for any items removed from his cell that he has purchased.
- So when it comes to an inmates rights to privacy. He or she does not have much while they are incarcerated. Each prison has several cameras in place along with correctional officers. When searching an inmate’s cell, you have to be aware of what is considered contraband and what is not. Also be aware of the facility rules and regulations because the inmate will know it and use it against you.
Ingram, J.D. (2000). Prison Guards and Inmates of Opposite Genders: Equal Employment Opportunity versus Right of Privacy. Retrieved from http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi
Soliman, I.R. (2000). Male Officers in Women’s Prisons: The Need for Segregation of Officers in Certain Positions. Texas Journal of Women & The Law, 1045
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