Constitutional rights of prisoners

9 September 2016

They would use whippings and hangings, to public humiliation . Multiple prisoner where kept in crowded cells. One of the first correctional institutes in America was known as the Walnut Street jail. It was started in Philadelphia in the 1790. Prisons were meant to punish people who committed crimes. It was thought that by taking away ones freedom for committing crimes it would make them think twice about committing another crime when they were released. However by restricting them of their right to freedom violate their constitutional right?

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Should prisoners have rights while they are incarcerated? How do our prison systems refrain from making sure that prisoners’ rights are not being violated? Are the wardens and guards that run our prison systems doing all they can to ensure that our prisoners are being taken care of while keeping their own balance in their daily functions? There are many problems that are evident in our prison systems today that would make a person feel that a prisoners rights are being violated for instance the medical treatment of prisoners.

It’s a right for a person to seek medical treatment however our inmates are not getting the treatment that they deserve due to the lack of doctors in our prisons and sometimes it due to the guards not wanting to give them the treatment because they feel they don’t truly need it. A prisoner is given a comprehensive medical and mental health exam within fourteen days of entering our prison system they are then examined periodically thereafter . Unless a prisoner has a dental emergency they are seen within one year of their admission into prison and annually thereafter.

So as I was researching this I had to ask myself if they are being mistreated when it comes to the medical attention that they receive and my answer is no. Prisons don’t violate the rights of a prisoner to seek medical help they are actually being seen and treated more than most American are. Our prison system and jails have certain duties and codes that they must follow to insure the safety of our prisoners. A correctional facility should be safe and orderly and should be run in a fair and lawful manner.

Imprisonment should prepare prisoners to live law-abiding lives upon release. Correctional authorities should facilitate prisoners’ reintegration into free society by implementing appropriate conditions of confinement and by sustained planning for such reintegration. A correctional facility should maintain order and should protect prisoners from harm from other prisoners and staff. Restrictions placed on prisoners should be necessary and proportionate to the legitimate objectives for which those restrictions are imposed.

Correctional authorities should respect the human rights and dignity of prisoners. No prisoner should be subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or conditions. For a convicted prisoner, loss of liberty and separation from society should be the sole punishments imposed by imprisonment. For a prisoner not serving a sentence for a crime, the purpose of imprisonment should be to assure appearance of the prisoner at trial and to safeguard the public, not to punish. A correctional facility should be appropriately staffed.

Correctional officials should implement internal processes for continually assessing and improving each correctional facility. A correctional facility should be monitored and regularly inspected by independent government entities. A lack of resources should not excuse treatment or conditions that violate prisoners’ constitutional or statutory rights. Governmental authorities should provide sufficient resources to implement these Standards. (Oxford 1995) They also have the sole duties of keeping are prisoners safe from any harm that they may encounter by doing the following.

Each prisoner is entitled to humane and healthful living conditions; safety from harm, including protection from punitive or excessive force and protection from abuse by other prisoners and staff; freedom from staff harassment and invidious discrimination; freedom of religion and substantial freedom of expression; conditions conducive to maintaining healthy relationships with their families; opportunities to participate in constructive activity and rehabilitative programs. We as American’s have constitutional rights that we all are protected from and a person who commits a crime against another person or society should be punished for it.

Some of the punishments might be a little severe for the crime committed, but we do need to be held accountable for our actions. Our justice system is coming up with ways to keep petty offenders out of our prisons and by doing more policing in our cities is deterring criminals from committing crimes. Prison guards face numerous ethical dilemmas on the job. They need to be well connected to prisoners. An inmate may try to bribe them for better treatment or inmates may be abusive to guards for no reason. In both of these situations a guard must be able to treat all inmates equally. They must be able to enforce prison rules firmly and consistently. This is something that should be done on a daily bases both while on duty and in his everyday life.

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