Prisoner rights in the United States
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2012)|
A right is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action, thing or recognition in civil society.
Prisoner may refer to one of the following: * A person incarcerated in a prison or jail or similar facility.
* Prisoner of war, a combatant or non-combatant in wartime, held by a belligerent power.
* Political prisoner, someone held in prison for their ideology.
* A person forcibly detained against his will, such as a victim of kidnapping; such prisoners may be held hostage, or held to ransom, but not necessarily in a prison or similar facility.
All prisoners obtain the basic rights which are needed to survive, and sustain a reasonable way of life (meaning they have the necessities), despite their imprisonment. Most rights are taken away so the prison system can maintain order, discipline, and security. Any of the following rights, given to prisoners, can be taken away for that purpose:
- The right to not be punished cruelly or unusually.
- The right to due processes.
- The right to administrative appeals.
- The right to access the parole process (denied to those incarcerated in the Federal System)
- The right to practice religion freely.
- The right to equal protection (Fourteenth Amendment).
- The right to be notified of all charges against them.
- The right to file a civil suit against another person.
- The right to medical treatment (both long and short term).
(Mental Patients/Prisoners) - The right to treatment that is both adequate and appropriate.
- The right to a hearing upon being relocated to the mental health facility.
- The right to personal property such as: cigarettes, stationary, a watch, cosmetics, and snack-food.
- The right to visitation.
- The right to food that would sustain an average person adequately.
- The right to bathe (for sanitation and health reasons).
Many rights are taken away from prisoners and restrictions are put on what they can and can't do. Take as an example, the guards have to read and inspect any in-going or out-going mail. The only time they can't listen to a prisoners conversation is when it is with his or her attorney. Prisoners also have no right to privacy. This is to maintain security and make sure no contraband items are being held by the prisoners.
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