The Supreme Court held that prison inmates lack the rights to privacy and protection against searches under the Fourth Amendment.
Palmer, a Virginia inmate, claimed prison officer Hudson conducted an improper search of his locker and cell, during which he destroyed some of Palmer’s personal property and generally harassed him unnecessarily. The officer discovered a ripped pillow case and charged him with destroying state property. By a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court determined that incarcerated convicts do not have a right to privacy or Fourth Amendment protection against “unreasonable searches and seizure.” In the opinion for the Court, Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
Katz v. United States
Privacy, right to
Search warrant requirement