MoJo Must Reads

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


_
Rhode Island “cracks” down on misdemeanors

Mar. 28, 2000

One night last December, a Rhode Island woman skidded on a patch of black ice and crashed her car near Providence. The next thing she knew, she was in the hallway of a state prison, being ordered to strip naked and spread her butt cheeks. The police had hauled her in for a seven-year-old overdue court fine of $85.

Barring the possibility that she had gone to extraordinary lengths to hide her overdue payment, the woman’s relatively petty offense would hardly seem to warrant such a thorough body search. But in Rhode Island’s Adult Correctional Institutions, standard policy is that everyone who is brought in, regardless of the reason, is strip-searched, the PROVIDENCE PHOENIX reports. Despite federal court decisions banning blanket strip-search policies, ACI has done little to stem its strip-happy ways. State and ACI officials do not seem to be budging on the issue, despite heavy pressure from civil-rights groups and lawyers.

“They’ve feigned ignorance of all the court decisions and they’ve done absolutely nothing,” says Newport lawyer Thomas Kelly, who is forming a team of lawyers to intensify his challenge to ACI’s policy. He estimates that about 6,000 people who were arrested for misdemeanors have been illegally strip-searched at ACI during the last three years.

Read the PROVIDENCE PHOENIX story here.

JG

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate