ACLU sues Mass. prisons over visitor searches - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

ACLU sues Mass. prisons over visitor searches

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BOSTON (AP) - Civil liberties groups have sued the state prisons department in an effort to stop the agency from using drug-sniffing dogs to search prison visitors.

The American Civil Liberties Union and inmate advocacy group Prisoners' Legal Services filed the suit in Suffolk Superior Court. They are seeking a preliminary injunction to bar the searches and allow for public comment on the policy, which the Department of Correction implemented in November to prevent drugs and other contraband from getting inside prisons.

The plaintiffs say the searches are an invasion of privacy, terrifying for children, and dogs can mistake legal scents for drugs.

A spokesman for the agency that oversees prisons tells The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/1a7ZD9t) that the use of dogs to sniff for contraband enhances security and safety of inmates, visitors and staff.

 Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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