A federal magistrate has approved a settlement between the Franklin County Jail and nearly 500 people who claimed they were strip-searched without cause.
Attorney Howard Friedman says each of the former detainees in the class-action lawsuit will be eligible to receive up to $3,500 in damages.
The settlement totals more than $1.1 million.
The plaintiffs said the strip searches were unconstitutional because authorities had no reason to believe that the non-drug and nonviolent arrestees were concealing weapons or contraband.
Jail Superintendent David Lanoie says the policy was put in place to protect inmates and staff at an antiquated facility, and was stopped when a more modern jail opened in Greenfield in 2007.
Lanoie says he’s happy the case is now over.