First Amendment Rights
All inmates are given First Amendment rights, to the extent that the rights don’t affect their status as an inmate. These rights include very important things such as protecting inmates against inhumane treatment (cruel and unusual punishment), as well as “smaller” rights such as the allowance to be present when prison officials open their legal mail.
The Right To Not Be Discriminated Against
Prisoners have the right to be free of being discriminated against, whether the discrimination is regarding their religion, race, age, gender, or anything else. If there is proven discrimination, the court will use rational-basis scrutiny to determine if it is constitutional. Each type of discrimination (religion, race, etc.) requires a different way of being determined.
The Right Not To Be Harassed
Prisoners are given the right to not be harassed by other inmates or by prison staff. If an inmate reports that they are being harassed or being allowed by prison staff to be put into situations where they could be harassed, it’s a serious matter that can lead to penalties for the perpetrators and criminal sanctions.
See more about inmates’ rights in the video below:https://www.youtube.com/embed/zq8nh4y2nVw
Rights To Medical Care
Prisoners can receive medial care, to an extent. If they are in pain from a cavity, for instance, they can have their tooth pulled, but not filled. Each case will vary, but the idea is that they are given care with reasonable treatments, not extensive treatment.
The Right To Appropriate Mental Health Care
Similar to having the right to medical care, this right states that mental health care for inmates must be “adequate”. It’s important to note, though, that if an inmate files for mental or emotional injury, they will also need proof that they have suffered a physical injury.
The Right To A Hearing Before Moving To A Mental Health Facility
If an inmate is to be transferred from a prison to a mental health facility, he or she has the right to have a hearing before. This right also states that an inmate is not entitled to a full hearing before the government can force him or her to take anti-psychotic drugs.
Rights For Disabled Inmates
If an inmate is disabled, they are granted the right to accommodations to suit their needs. For example, a prisoner who uses a wheelchair must have enough space in their cell to turn and maneuver the chair, and bathroom requirements must be met as well. Disabled inmates should also be given the right to participate in physical prison programs.
The Right To Humane Facilities
Inmates have the right to live in a prison that is fit for humans. This means that the prison can’t have vermin infestations, they must have the required amount of bathrooms, there cannot be fire hazards, etc. Inmates are to be housed in humane facilities, as well as treated humanely. And if they do not receive this right, they have…
…The Right To Complain About Prison Conditions
If an inmate feels that the prison conditions are unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise warrant a complaint, they have the right to bring this up to officials and the court. Before filing a court claim, however, the inmate must try to resolve the complaint with prison authorities first. Inmates are also responsible for paying the court fee to file the complaint.
An inmate’s rights are important, especially when the personal element of a loved one is introduced. That’s why it’s good to know what an inmate is and is not allowed to have access to.
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