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Resolutions & Amendments

27th International Convention - Chicago, IL (1986)

Strip Searches

Resolution No. 23
27th International Convention
June 23-27, 1986
Chicago, IL


All citizens of the United States have a constitutional right to privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. Correctional, parole, and probation employees enjoy these same rights while pursuing their careers in the criminal justice field; and


The random strip searching of these employees is becoming more commonplace in state and local governments under the guise of maintaining safety and security within the institutions. This is an assault on human dignity, and is also a violation of an individual's constitutional rights; and


Many employers are strip searching workers for the purposes of intimidation. For example, in some states it has been found that employees have been continually searched because of their union activity; and


The strip searching of employees should take place only when there is reasonable suspicion that the employee is in possession of weapons, drugs, or other contraband; and


The U.S. District Courts in the Southern Districts of Iowa and Ohio and the US. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York State have all ruled that the arbitrary and warrantless strip searching of correctional employees violates constitutional guarantees.


That this 27th International Convention urge all AFSCME locals and councils to fight to defend the constitutional rights of correctional, parole, and probation employees and condemn the practice of arbitrary and warrantless strip searches of such employees. Strip searches can be justified only on the basis of reasonable suspicion and sound objective facts.


Donald G. McKee, President,
Dick Palmer, Secretary-Treasurer
Iowa Council 61
Des Moines, Iowa