Rights Related to Searches, Seizures, and Personal Privacy.
Although prisoners retain certain fundamental rights of personal privacy, prison officials may search prisoners' cells randomly without violating the Fourth Amendment because prisoners have no reasonable expectation of privacy within their cells. A seizure of an inmate's property by prison officials does not constitute a Fourth Amendment violation if the seizure serves legitimate institutional interests. Additionally, a parole officer or other peace officer may search a parolee at any time. Courts closely scrutinize the constitutionality of strip and body-cavity searches by balancing the government's need for a particular search against the extent of the invasion suffered by the prisoner.Prisoners retain some privacy rights with respect to decisions about family life and reproduction, but these rights may be limited by valid penological interests. The right to privacy in preventing nonconsensual disclosures of medical conditions may also be limited by valid penological interests.
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