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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 101590
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Customer Question

My brother is currently incarcerated in the Texas state prison system. He filed a grievance claiming that a female officer was present while he was taking a shower and reported him for a lewd act, which he claims is not true. He believes that it is against federal law for a female officer to be present while a male inmate is nude taking a shower. Is this true?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a reply. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear.

I am very sorry for your brother's situation. Notwithstanding the matter underlining the situation, it is not against federal law for a female officer to be present while a male inmate is taking a shower, depsite several attempts to have the Court rule it as so under 42 U.S.C. §1983 (Civil action for deprivation of rights).

In Grummett v. Rushen, prison inmates brought a class action alleging that the prison's policy of allowing female guards to view male inmates in states of partial or total nudity while dressing, showering, being strip searched, or using toilet facilities violated the inmates' privacy rights. The Court said that even though the policy created possibilities for infringement of rights, because the viewing itself was infrequent, the policy is allowed. Grummet v. Rushen, 779 F.2d 491 (9th Cir. 1985).

The discussion is by no means over, but at this point, this policy is still allowed.

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