Primer on Jail and Prison Inmate Rights, Part 1

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Primer on Jail and Prison Inmate Rights, Part 1

jail prison inmate rights

While our primary services at Beehive Bail Bonds revolve around providing 24/7 bail bond services to those recently arrested or their families, we’re proud to serve those in these situations in multiple ways, both in terms of direct solutions and advocacy. We’ve helped numerous clients find the ideal criminal defense attorney, for instance, and we assist detainees and their families with several related tips or areas of expertise.

One major area that anyone who is incarcerated (and their loved ones) should be aware of is the rights afforded to all prisoners. While no one would ever mistake jail or prison for a vacation, inmates do have basic rights under the Constitution, domestic laws and various principles of human rights. This multi-part blog series will go over both federal and local inmate rights, including numerous important prisoner rights to be aware of and report if you receive any evidence that these rights are being denied.

Federal Law

For starters, while inmate rights may vary in slight ways between states, federal US law is responsible for guaranteeing basic human rights to all inmates under the Constitution. Inalienable rights begin at pretrial detainment and extend all the way through incarceration, if applicable. It should be noted, however, that inmate rights and inmate privileges are different things – this series is focused on the former area.

Pretrial Detainees

During the pretrial screening and intake process, which may be lengthy, those remanded have all the same human rights as any other prisoner. All proper medical and mental health assessments should be done in a timely fashion to ensure there are no issues, first and foremost.

From here, single-cell occupancy should be given if the detainee is not deemed to be safe from other inmates. All inmates are entitles to safe, clean environments that allow both visitation and recreation. Any detainee with special needs has the right to proper care.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

All inmates at any stage of incarceration has the right to be free of any cruel or unusual punishment. Their incarceration itself is the punishment for their crime, and there cannot be any further such punishment, including torture, abuse or degradation.

Food and Exercise

All inmates are guaranteed proper nutrition and food by the law, including at least one hot meal per day. Inmates with special dietary needs have the right to see these needs met, and all food must be prepared in a sanitary way.

In addition, all inmates have the right to at least one hour of outdoor exercise per day, and often more, so long as the weather permits. This time must be outside the cell to maintain health and fitness.

For more on inmate rights upon arrest or incarceration, or to learn about any of our bail bond services, speak to the agents at Beehive Bail Bonds today.