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What are a Prisoner's Rights?

Convicted criminals who are incarcerated in America's prisons often face grim conditions. While our prison system is supposed to rehabilitate criminals, it is also becoming increasingly hard on criminals due to inadequate facilities and staff. Still, prisoners do have basic rights, of which neither the state nor its agents can violate.
 
What are a Prisoner's Rights?
Prisoners'  Rights include the right to:
  • Be protected from cruel and unusual punishment
  • Be free from sexual harassment and other sex crimes
  • Access the courts to complain about the prison system and the treatment of inmates
  • Medical and mental health care
  • Protections afforded under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Be free from racial segregation unless necessary for safety reasons
What Rights are Prisoner's Deprived of?
There are several rights that prisoners do not have, including:
  • No reasonable expectation of privacy in their cells
  • Limited freedom of speech
  • Prior to seeking a remedy in court, prisoners must exhaust internal remedies
  • Courts may dismiss prisoner claims if determined to be frivolous or malicious
  • Prisoners must show a physical injury prior to making a claim for a mental or emotional injury
Do I Need a Lawyer for my Prisoners'  Rights Issue?
If you are incarcerated and think your rights have been violated, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you file a complaint. A criminal defense lawyer also can represent you in court if necessary.
Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 09-06-2017 07:33 PM PDT

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