If you or a loved one has to serve a prison sentence, the future probably seems unknown and frightening. The good news is that prison inmates have rights in the United States that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. On this page, I will review these rights as well as some details and examples of them. Read on to learn more!
According to the Constitution, prisoners in the United States enjoy the following rights:
- The right to mental health care.
- The right to a hearing, should the inmate be sent to a mental health facility.
- The right to medical attention and care.
- The rights outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act.
- Freedom from sexual crimes.
- Freedom from racial segregation.
- The right to human facilities and conditions.
- The right to complain about the conditions they face.
Let’s consider these rights in more detail.
Prisoners in United States prison facilities – including those in Connecticut – have mental and physical health rights. If an inmate needs mental health treatment, they are entitled to receive it in an appropriate and adequate manner. If a facility determines that an inmate should be moved to a mental health facility, in many cases they will be entitled to a hearing first. However, keep in mind that inmates being moved between two comparable facilities are not entitled to hearings.
Safeguards are put in place to protect inmates’ physical health as well. If an inmate suffers from a long term or a short term illness, they have the right to receive adequate medical treatment.
In addition to medical rights, prisoners also have certain civil rights against types of discrimination or injury. First, consider the right to assert a person’s rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act. If a prisoner is disabled, they can rely on their rights under the ADA to ensure access to all facility programs that they are qualified for.
Freedom from sexual crimes is another right of inmates. This includes issues such as sexual harassment. Prisoners are protected by The Prisoner Rape Elimination Act.
Racial segregation is another issue that is prohibited in United States prisons. The only exceptions are in the event that such segregation preserves the facility security and discipline.
Rights Concerning Facility Conditions
Inmates of United States prisons also have rights when it comes to the conditions of the facility that they are serving a sentence in. Inmates have the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. This includes inhumane treatment or treatment that violates basic human dignity. If an inmate believes that the facility conditions are inhumane, they have the right to voice their concerns.
Protecting Your Rights
If you or a loved one are an inmate in a Connecticut prison, and you think that prisoner rights have been violated, contact our office. We can help you determine if rights have been violated and if so, how to proceed. We can make sure that your rights are protected and that you get justice if you have been unfairly treated in a prison. For more information, contact us today and set up a free consultation.