What Are Some Privileges Given to Prison Inmates?


Quick Answer

Prison inmates have the right to basic living necessities such as adequate clothing, heating, and nutrition, opportunities to wash and maintain personal hygiene, and space in which to move around and exercise, according to Net Industries. Prisoners also retain their constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of religion and freedom from punishment based solely on religion or race.

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Full Answer

Other rights and privileges of prisoners vary by institution. Prisoners may have access to religious services, exercise in a gym or recreation yard, classes, television and books, according to Prison Fellowship. If prisoners receive wages for working a mandatory prison job, they may use this money to purchase extras such as personal care items, coffee, postage stamps and snacks from the prison store. Some prisoners can have visits with their families during visitation hours. Low- and medium-security prisoners generally have a greater degree of freedom and more privileges than high-security prisoners.

Medical care is not a guaranteed privilege for prison inmates. Though most prisons have clinics or infirmaries that serve sick inmates, prisoners must obtain permission to visit, a process which can take three to five days, says Prison Fellowship. Very ill prisoners may be able to visit a hospital, but they or their families are responsible for paying for medical fees and medications.

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