What Are Some Prisoner Rights in the USA?


Quick Answer

Under the Eighth Amendment, a prisoner maintains the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment or any treatment that is considered inhumane or violates an individual's basic dignities, according to FindLaw. This same Amendment protects a prisoner's right to a minimum standard of living, states Cornell University Law School.

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A prisoner also maintains the right to voice any complaints about the conditions in which he is kept and to voice any concerns he may have on his treatment while incarcerated, reports FindLaw. If the inmate wishes, he may take his complaints to court. A prisoner also retains his right to freedom of speech, but his other First Amendment rights are limited in certain regards. For example, it is legal for a prison official to open an inmate's mail, but the prisoner has the right to receive his mail uncensored.

An inmate has the right to certain civil liberties, such as the freedom from discrimination based on race, religion, national origin or sex, according to Cornell University Law School. A prisoner also has certain rights to practice his religion of choice.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, any disabled prisoner may receive certain accommodations that allow him similar access to the prison facilities as that of the other inmates, informs HG.org. An inmate also has the right to receive adequate medical and mental health care.

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