No immunity for ex-warden in lawsuit over body searches

YPSILANTI (AP) - Female prisoners who say they were forced to undergo humiliating searches have won a key decision at a federal appeals court.

The court says former warden Millicent Warren doesn't have immunity in a lawsuit that alleges violations of constitutional rights.

Women returning from trips outside the Huron Valley prison in Washtenaw County were ordered to sit on a chair and spread their knees for a thorough body search in view of many others. After complaints, the searches were stopped in 2011 unless there was reasonable suspicion of contraband.

Warren and the Corrections Department are being sued by women who say the earlier practice violated their rights. The appeals court on Wednesday said there are ways to search prisoners in private that don't violate the constitution. The case now returns to Detroit federal court.

Published: Fri, Mar 11, 2016