Regulating the Rights of Inmates Essay


In as much as the autonomy of worship and privileges to conjugal visits are allowed in prison, they are always restricted and practiced under careful administration. Many prisoners remain ignorant of their constitutional rights and sometimes end up exploited by wardens. The law remains firm in the fortification of humanitarian privileges about prisoners and normal citizens.

Rights applied to inmates

Legislations remain unyielding on the privacy privileges of every human being. Although to a limited extent, prisoners are also entitled to some confidentiality and any search must be warranted. The initial modification of the law state that every American has the privilege to worship in any religious group. It is notable that in prison religion is either restricted or practiced under keen command for the sake of upholding security. Concerning the second section of the law, prisoners in custody cannot vote; however, the ones serving their condemnation are allowed to vote. As predetermined in law, every person is privileged to get medical consideration to incase of health problems. The law is harsh to persons who deprive prisoners of the chance to obtain medical attention, in case of illness (Friedman, 2010). The first modification of the second section of the law, accords every individual the privileges to transsexual, without the exclusion of prisoners. A convict should be treated well and should not be deprived of any rights based on his transsexual status (Friedman, 2010). There are restrictions on making calls in prison i.e. there are stipulated times for inmates to use telephones. According to the second section of the law, an inmates discussion can be tapped in case the court establishes imminent security threats. Notably, smoking is allowed in prison; however, a prisoner cannot be granted damages on grounds that he was denied smoking breaks. An inmate chained at her labor cannot allege damages since the act did not pose a threat to her general health.

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Privileges to a conjugal visit

Conjugal privileges of citizens are protected by the correction on the second section of the law. It gives prisoners the privileges to visit, although under strict supervision. There are always classified arrangements for partners to engage in sex although under security and regulation. Long ago, prisoners had lengthy visiting hours to as much as a . They had permission to engage in to the extent of even meeting their conjugal rights with their married partners. This is not the case in recent times, since most US correctional facilities abolished it on security grounds (Lief, 2008).

Having a full-day visit with a sexual partner was more than enough time for prisoners to organize their criminal activities. It facilitated communication with outside parties in the arrangement of criminal activities. This is because during these visits communications were not monitored by the fact that inmates are entitled to the independence of speech. The idea behind granting inmates conjugal rights was to maintain family bonds and further in correctional units (Lief, 2008). Unfortunately, instead of inmates using this privilege to develop ethical behavior, they used it as an avenue for carrying out their criminal acts. Prisoners who used the privilege proved to be more dangerous as compared to others. This gives more than enough reason for correctional departments to limit conjugal visits even though it to some extent violates the rights of inmates.

An inmate filed a suit against a warden on infringement grounds by the fact that he was imprisoned in a closed unit where he could not have physical contact with anyone because he possessed illegal drugs. The courts verdict favored the prisoner on grounds that the correctional unit failed to establish a relationship between the drug test and denial of the prisoners conjugal visit right (Pearlman & Cripe, 2004). Another a prisoner caught in possession of a phone, claiming that he intended to use it for husband-wife communication. However, according to wardens, the prisoner was using the phone to carry out an escape plan. The court ruled in favor of the prisoner by dismissing the wardens argument.

Privileges to Independence of worship

Independence of worship is the right to profess to any preferred sacred set of the society in recognition of a supreme being. Even though prisoners have the right to worship, restrictions are guiding this practice. In fact, before practicing any religion, tests have to be carried out to verify the validity of religion to be practiced after which the practices are regulated by the correctional unit (Schultz, West & MacLean 1999).

The validity of a religion has to be tested in prison before any religion can be permitted for worshiping. Various tests are carried out to ensure that religion is legitimate; the tests are carried out to establish the genuineness of religion and the nature of religion. Skewed and objective tests are used to determine the nature of religion while genuineness of religion is tested by carefully investigating a prisoners faith. It is noted that some religions may be discouraged in prison in case they have serious security concerns. If religions activities threaten security, they are immediately forbidden. For example, a prisoner may not be allowed to attend religious masses for insecurity reasons. It is noted that punishments cannot be delayed on grounds that an inmate is attending to his/her religious activities.

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