Mandatory strip searches for anyone booked into Tipton County Jail

(WMC-TV) - Effective this week, everyone booked into the Tipton County Jail is now subject to a strip search no matter the alleged crime.

The policy change follows a landmark Supreme Court decision.

"Anybody that comes into the facility will be strip searched," said Chief Deputy Billy Daugherty.

Tipton County changed its policy immediately after the Supreme Court ruling allowing strip searches, even without suspicion that weapons or drugs are being hidden.

The inspection includes having to squat or bend over while naked.

"If you don't want to be strip searched, don't come to jail," said Daugherty.  "Don't do anything to come to jail."

So far, Tipton County is the first in the Mid-South to implement mandatory strip searching.

According to procedures provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, strip searches are only conducted at 201 Poplar on felony arrestees or when there is, "reasonable suspicion that an inmate may be in possession of contraband."

"If it's not found by correctional staff, it will end up on the secure part of the facility," said Daugherty.

Officials said security trumps any one inmate's privacy.

A New Jersey man's case is what prompted the Supreme Court's ruling on this matter.  He was strip searched in two county jails after his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

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