Cruel and Unusual Punishments
Prisoner Rights for Disabled Individuals
Prisoners with disabilities have rights for necessary accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act. They should have equal access to facilities like other inmates. However, the accommodations should not be over the top, only the reasonable least and the best available.
Sexual Harassment and Sex Crimes
Sexual harassment should have no place in prisons. But unfortunately, it does take place frequently. In this context, it is the other inmates or the prison personnel that can be guilty of the crime. Courts have penalized many individuals from guards to government officials for letting this types of crime to happen. And even worse, for committing them systematically. Civil penalties and criminal sanctions will follow for the guilty.
Discrimination continues to be a problem in every sphere and there are laws to control it in prisons as well. It includes racial segregation, abnormal treatment based on one’s ethnicity, gender age, and religion.
Right to Complain: Prison Conditions, Access to the Courts
If prison conditions are inhumane, the prisoners can and should complain about it. Moreover, they can express their dissatisfaction both to prison officials and to courts. The courts can be of help in cases when prisoners are treated unlawfully after voicing their complaints. For example, some are moved to solitary confinement.
Right to Health Care
This includes medical and mental health care. However, alike the accommodations for the disabled health care services are also limited to the minimum. At times inmates with conditions as serious as AIDS receive the minimal care. These treatments are not to increase their lifespan but only to provide the least possible comfort.
First Amendment Rights
Prisoners have the right to freedom of speech and religion. However, only as long as that does not affect their inmate status. Meaning, that it should not disturb the order, security, and discipline of the prison system. Therefore, prison officials can monitor prisoner’s communication such as by reading e-mails to ensure that nothing threatens the objectives of the institution.
Know you know what rights exactly do people behind the bar have. Prisoners lose most of their rights in jail, so it is best for them to be aware of these few but fundamental human rights that they should have. However, keep in mind that some prisoner rights can differ based on circumstances, and in such case, it is better to consult a criminal law attorney.