McKune v. Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 9 (2002)

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Opinion of Kennedy, J.

on the inmate and because that impact was identical to the punishment imposed by the Department for serious disciplinary infractions. In the Court of Appeals' view, the fact that the sanction was automatic, rather than conditional, supported the conclusion that it constituted compulsion. Moreover, because all SATP files are subject to disclosure by subpoena, and an admission of culpability regarding the crime of conviction would create a risk of a perjury prosecution, the court concluded that the information disclosed by respondent was sufficiently incriminating. Id., at 1180. The Court of Appeals recognized that the Kansas policy served the State's important interests in rehabilitating sex offenders and promoting public safety. It concluded, however, that those interests could be served without violating the Constitution, either by treating the admissions of the inmates as privileged communications or by granting inmates use immunity. Id., at 1192.

We granted the warden's petition for certiorari because the Court of Appeals has held that an important Kansas prison regulation violates the Federal Constitution. 532 U. S. 1018 (2001).


Sex offenders are a serious threat in this Nation. In 1995, an estimated 355,000 rapes and sexual assaults occurred nationwide. U. S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sex Offenses and Offenders 1 (1997) (hereinafter Sex Offenses); U. S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 1999, Uniform Crime Reports 24 (2000). Between 1980 and 1994, the population of imprisoned sex offenders increased at a faster rate than for any other category of violent crime. See Sex Offenses 18. As in the present case, the victims of sexual assault are most often juveniles. In 1995, for instance, a majority of reported forcible sexual offenses were committed against persons under 18 years of age. University of New Hampshire, Crimes Against Children Research Center, Fact Sheet 5; Sex Offenses 24. Nearly 4 in 10 imprisoned violent

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