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California Prisons End Controversial Visitor Strip Searches

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SACRAMENTO (AP)–

California prison officials are ending visitor strip searches in response to a recent change in state law.

State lawmakers banned the controversial visitor strip searches last summer.

But visitors face increased scrutiny for a year if traces of drugs are detected by dogs or airport-style scanners under the corrections department’s revised regulations.

Visitors who refuse clothed searches would be subject to an increasing range of penalties under the regulations proposed Friday.

Lawmakers also are concerned about using dogs to search visitors.

But prison officials say they need to deter the smuggling of drugs and other contraband.

The budget Gov. Jerry Brown proposed last week calls for spending nearly $8 million for another year of intensive efforts using dogs and other methods at 11 of the state’s 34 adult prisons.