MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would allow jail guards to strip search inmates.
Current state law permits county jailors to conduct strip searches if an inmate has been arrested for a felony or a number of different misdemeanors, including battery and weapons violations.
Republican Rep. Duey Stroebel’s bill would permit jail guards to strip search anyone who will be incarcerated with other prisoners. He says the change would clarify policy and create safer jails.
Opponents argue the bill would allow juveniles to be searched and open the door to abuses. Assembly Republicans and Democrats jointly amended the bill Tuesday to exclude juveniles and make the searches visual unless touching is necessary.
The measure passed on a voice vote Tuesday evening. It goes next to the state Senate.