People who are charged with or convicted and sentenced to jail time obviously forfeit many of their civil rights including their absolute freedom of movement. However, they do not need to give up their rights to personal safety, and the law demands that the jail and prison systems protect their physical and mental well-being to a reasonable degree. Most importantly, the US Constitution guarantees incarcerated pretrial detainees the right to be free from any punishment, and incarcerated convicted individuals a life free of “cruel and unusual punishment.”
This means that no American prisoner should be subjected to excessive force, deliberate indifference to harm, and other forms of blatant abuse. Prisoners also have the right to receive treatment for serious medical concerns and live lives free of violence.
Although it may come as a surprise to some, most people are quite aware that the inmate rights outlined above are simply not a reality in many American penal institutions. Over the years, civil rights and personal injury attorneys have represented countless prisoners who have suffered inhumane and illegal forms of abuse and neglect.
Many instances of prisoner abuse and neglect are perpetrated by other incarcerated individuals. Other times, the very prison guards and officials who are tasked with looking after the incarcerated and ensuring their safety are, unfortunately, responsible for harming them or otherwise violating their basic civil or human rights…often under the guise of enforcing discipline or maintaining order.
Whether the perpetrators are prison workers or fellow inmates, the list of potentially life-threatening perils for incarcerated individuals is long to say the least. Although it is far from exhaustive, the following list highlights just a few of the patently illegal dangers that many prisoners face on a daily basis:
Of course, incarcerated people must deal with many conditions that are disadvantaged and uncomfortable. After all, just punishment is an integral part of the penal system, both within the United States and elsewhere. While prisoners must sometimes cope with tight quarters, inferior food, and dozens of other “less than ideal” conditions, these issues often do NOT provide sufficient grounds for lawsuits.
However, incarcerated people certainly DO have the right to live under humane conditions. They also have the right to…
Furthermore, all incarcerated individuals have the right to complain about or otherwise draw attention to the specific conditions of their incarceration via the facility’s grievance system. Charged with protecting the rights of the prisoners under their supervision, prison workers and officials who deny these rights or otherwise neglect their essential caretaking duties can be criminally prosecuted or sued for damages through the US legal system.
Contact the law firm of White, Davis and White today if you or someone you love has suffered from unjust treatment while incarcerated in a US penal institution. We are also happy to answer any questions that you might have regarding the essential legal rights of individuals in prison or jail.
Prisons located in South Carolina include:
As part of its comprehensive criminal defense, personal injury, and civil litigation practice, our legal team of six attorneys draws upon roughly 80 years of combined experience to address a wide range of cases that relate to prison injury and death. Headquartered in Anderson, South Carolina, we serve the following cities and communities:
At White, Davis & White, we are here to do everything in our power to help you.
$400,000 settlement in case in which our client was denied proper medical treatment for a stroke.
Lead WDW Lawyer on the Case: Kyle J. White
WDW criminal defense lawyers were hired to defend a client who was charged with murder and various other charges arising out of a shooting in Abbeville County. Following a multiple day trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on all charges.
$375,000 settlement in case in which our client’s relative died by suicide while in jail.
Lead WDW Lawyer on the Case: Kyle J. White
*Civil & criminal consultations are free, the charge for family court consultations varies by attorney.