Incarcerated inmates are often treated like second-class citizens in the United States of America. If an individual is convicted of a crime, they will need to pay with time served in a correctional facility. Sadly, this mentality leads to inmates being violated of their rights, and even though they are inmates, they have certain guaranteed rights under the law. Everyone should be aware of these rights, as you will never know when you or a loved one will have to serve some time.
People forget that inmates are human no matter the crime they have committed. That is why they have the right to be treated as human and housed in a humane environment. A humane environment must be completely free of vermin and free of fire hazards. Also, inmates must be protected from the elements, such as proper heating during winter and air conditioning in summer. If a facility fails to provide those mentioned earlier, it is not a safe environment for inmates to live, violating their rights.
Free of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a crime, no matter the victim. Absolutely everyone has the right to remain free of sexual assault. However, many inmates find themselves victims to this type of assault once they are in prison. In fact, it’s become so common that it is a running joke. Assault is not a laughing matter, especially sexual assault. Correctional officers, staff, and other inmates could be the culprits of this crime. Additionally, allowing this type of assault to go uninvestigated violates the victim’s rights.
Adequate Mental Health Care
If an inmate is struggling with mental health problems or illness, correctional facilities must provide the necessary care for that illness. However, the law only requires the care to be “adequate.” Unfortunately, staff may only provide care as they see fit, in many cases, depriving treatment.
Should an inmate be disabled, they have the same rights as any other disabled civilian. This means that if an inmate is in a wheelchair, his cell must be able to accommodate this disability including, extra space, ramps, and elevators available for the inmate to use whenever necessary. If the inmate is deprived of the environment required for his/her disability, it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Behind Bars, The Sad Truth
There are many rights that inmates have under the support of law. However, many inmates face these violations, due to the mentality that people who are convicted of crimes do not deserve to be treated humanely. In most cases, prison staff are demeaning, facilities are unsanitary, and inmates are not given the mental health care they need. This is why you should always avoid prison at all costs, even if you are arrested. No matter what charges you may be facing, call our expert criminal defense attorneys today to receive a consultation on your case.