What Rights Do Inmates Have?
While we’re focused on providing the best possible bail bond services to the community, we’ve also taken it upon ourselves to teach the community about the legal system as a whole. As such, we’d like to explore the rights inmates do and do not have while incarcerated. You’ll be surprised at what we discovered!
Do Inmates Have Rights?
Yes, absolutely. Inmates do have rights while incarcerated. While going to jail or prison certainly is a punishment and, as such, your rights are curtailed somewhat, you are not without basic human rights. Even hardened criminals are protected by the U.S. Constitution.
The rights an inmate retains include:
- Eighth Amendment rights – Under the Eighth Amendment, inmates are free from inhumane treatment or cruel and unusual punishment of any kind. The Supreme Court has held that such punishments include beheading, disembowelment, burning alive, or drawing and quartering—old forms of punishment.
- Freedom from Sexual Harassment – Inmates are to be free from sex crimes or sexual harassment from guards, administration, and other inmates. Many courts have tried prison personnel as a result of sexual harassment claims within their facilities.
- Medical and Mental Health Care – Prisoners are entitled to medical care and mental health treatment with facility medical personnel. These treatments must be reasonable.
- First Amendment rights – All prisoners are entitled to their First Amendment rights, which include freedom of speech and religion. However, if a prisoner attempts to use their First Amendment rights to interfere with prison personnel or legitimate objectives at the prison facility, they are often curtailed.