Inmates are people too. Regardless of the crime committed or the time left to serve on their sentence, inmates are human beings that deserve to be treated as such. Across the nation, inmates are granted basic human rights that are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Whether you are facing prosecution or you have a family member behind bars, it is important to know your rights.
These are rights protected by the U.S. Constitution that you should be aware of.
- The right to humane facilities and conditions – While awaiting trial, an inmate must be housed in proper facilities and cannot be treated as guilty.
- The right to be free from sexual crimes – A prisoner cannot become the victim of sexual crimes or sexual harassment. This is protected by the Prison Rape Elimination Act. This act was established to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003). The act was also responsible for developing standards for the elimination of prison rape.
- The right to be free from racial segregation – There shall be no racial segregation in prisons.
- The right to express condition complaints – An inmate has the right to express their concerns about the conditions of the prison to the courts.
- The right to assert their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act – Any inmate that has a disability is entitled to their rights as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- The right to medical care and attention as needed – An inmate is entitled to medical care for long-term and short-term ailments.
- The right to appropriate mental health care – An inmate is entitled to mental health care.
- The right to a hearing if they are to be moved to a mental health facility – If an inmate is to be moved to a mental health facility, they are entitled to a hearing.
If you have a family member who is facing incarceration, for any length of time, be sure they are made aware of their rights as an inmate before going behind bars. We believe that no matter what, you are entitled to the rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution and want to make sure they are upheld.