Prisoner Protections And Legal Intervention

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Discrimination and abuse can happen anywhere, but it can be particularly common for those who reside in the prison system. But just because someone is a prisoner, it does not mean their rights are eradicated. The laws are always evolving, but every person should be aware of their protections and how to take action if a violation occurs. Examples of problems prisoners may encounter include assault, use of excessive force, religious discrimination, transgender discrimination, and diminished free speech expression, among others. If you have become injured wrongfully, are pregnant, have a disability, want to send and receive mail, or want to receive publications while in prison but have not had your rights provided for, then getting help from a legal professional is a wise choice. Below, our friends at Cohen & Cohen have gone into further detail about the rights of prisoners and what to do if you have sustained injury.

Prisoner Protections

Officials who work for a prison have a duty by law to refrain from excessive force and to protect prisoners from being assaulted by other prisoners. Officers cannot utilize force in a malicious or sadistic manner with purpose to harm, and are only permitted to use force in good faith as means to keep order. An officer could be guilty of violating a prisoner’s rights if they knew about the risk of assault but failed to respond accordingly, and/or if prison practices or conditions created an unreasonable likelihood of assault. There must be enough officers on the unit, cell doors must be kept locked properly and at all times, etc. Prisoner protections are not just limited to these expectations for officer conduct. Prisoners also should not face religious discrimination, experience mistreatment or abuse for being transgender, go without proper medical care if they are pregnant, go without proper assistance if they have a disability, or be kept from receiving mail or publications upon request.

Knowing Your Rights

From safety to basic care, everyone deserves fair treatment even if they are living in the prison system. When someone goes to prison, their humanity does not go away. Despite people being made to think they no longer have boundaries or rights when they become a prisoner, by law this just isn’t true. If officers fail to take reasonable precautions which led to a prisoner being injured, it may be time to speak with a legal professional. Prisoners can sustain injury due to unsafe living conditions, mistreatment from an officer, or assault from another prisoner. Injuries can entail cuts and bruises, mental trauma, broken bones, internal injuries, brain or spinal cord damage, disfigurement, or even death. Prisoners have certain rights and protections, and officers along with those involved in their care must consistently maintain this duty. If they fail to do so, then they could be liable for how a prisoner was harmed. Those who believe their rights have been violated while residing in prison may want to have a dedicated attorney intervene in their situation to protect their best interests and prevent further harm from being committed.

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