New York Civil Rights & Criminal Defense Lawyers

What are my basic rights as an inmate?

You might think that once you report to your prison sentence you lose a lot of rights. And it’s true. You lose your right to freedom, your right to vote and so many other privileges, but there are vital rights that you will always retain as a prisoner. Unfortunately, many prisons in New York and other areas of the United States frequently violate these rights.

If you suspect that you’ve had your rights as an inmate violated, you may want to check to see if any of the following rights have been compromised. You may have the ability to file a legal action to demand better conditions and receive compensation for the difficulties you have endured. Prisoners have the right to:

  • Humane conditions and facilities.
  • Freedom from sex crimes.
  • Freedom from racial segregation.
  • Freedom to complain about prison conditions.
  • The right to Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations.
  • Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment
  • The right to medical attention and care.
  • The right to mental health treatment.
  • The right to a hearing prior to being transferred to a mental health facility.
  • Similar rights apply to pretrial detainees, and pretrial detainees may not be treated as if they are guilty or be punished before their trial has concluded.

If the above rights were denied, you may want to investigate your legal rights and options as the law could be on your side. A successfully navigated prisoners rights case could bring an inmate the much-needed relief from abusive conditions that he or she deserves. Pursuing such a legal matter could also help prevent similar abuses against other inmates in the future.

Source: FindLaw, “Rights of Inmates,” accessed Feb. 02, 2018




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