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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court says the state’s Department of Correction overstepped its authority when it began using dogs to search prison visitors for drugs without giving the public a chance to weigh in.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that the department should have followed a regulatory process that allows interested parties an opportunity to present their views.

The drug-dog policy has been in place since 2013. The court said it could have a “potentially significant impact” on visitors’ experience.

The court is allowing the department to continue using the dogs for a certain period while it follows the proper regulatory process.

The correction department said in a statement that it’s glad the court found the drug-detection dog policy is not prohibited by its existing regulations.