African-american male prisoner holding help sign

When an Inmate’s Rights Are Violated

McCready Law Group Feb. 20, 2023

It’s hard enough knowing that a loved one is in jail or prison. Feelings of loss, sadness, and hurt are common emotions. However, if you believe there’s been a violation of prisoners’ rights (such as being assaulted in jail), that can intensify the feelings involved. But that’s not all – you want the injustice to stop. 

Sadly, there is data that shows that inmates’ rights are violated too often. In a study reported by the US Department of Justice investigating the treatment of inmates by staff, specifically regarding staff-on-inmate sexual victimization, it found that 64% of the cases were perpetrated by correctional officers or supervision staff, 13% by maintenance or facility support staff, and 10% by medical or health care staff.  

At McCready Law Group, we fight for the rights of everyone, no matter what they’ve been accused of or done. For help in filing a grievance for a violation of a prisoner’s rights (or other recourse when a prisoner’s rights are violated), we can help. From our offices in Long Beach, California, we help everyone throughout the area, including Cypress Hill and Lakewood. Reach out today for advocacy.  

The Rights of a Prisoner  

Even while incarcerated, a prisoner still maintains a number of rights: 

  • All prisoners should be free from discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. 

  • They have the right to adequate medical care and treatment, as well as accessing an attorney in prison and legal assistance should they need it. This is especially true if the prisoner feels their legal rights are being denied.  

  • Prisoners must have access to the courts and the ability to freely express any grievances about the conditions they’re living under or the way they’ve been treated by prison staff, correctional officers, supervisors, or medical staff. 

  • Prisoners are protected from any cruel and unusual treatment under the Eighth Amendment. This includes cruel or inhumane punishments, as well as instances of rape and assault.   

Common Violations of Prisoner’s Rights  

Many times, the violations against a prisoner are perpetrated by the staff and correctional officers employed there, but it also frequently happens at the hands of other inmates as well. Common examples of this include the following: 

  • Assault and abuse that include kicking, hitting, or excessive use of force 

  • Imposing arbitrary punishments 

  • Ignoring requests for medical attention or treatment 

  • Verbal abuse 

  • Sexual abuse 

  • Property destruction 

  • Using pepper spray 

  • Causing the death of an inmate 

These violations can also be less overt and occur due to prison overcrowding, medical neglect, failure to provide basic services like clean water, heating, and cooling, or by imposing extreme isolation or solitary confinement for extended periods of time.  

Legal Recourse Options  

If you’ve found that the staff or officials have been denying rights in prison, you need to reach out to a criminal defense attorney immediately for help. There are two main avenues of recourse you can take—injunctive and monetary.  

If you want to pursue an injunction, you’ll do so by filing a civil rights claim. The goal here is to force the prison to make changes to their procedures and practices. This could mean providing more space for the inmates to live in to reduce overcrowding, attending to structural issues to fix water, sewer, or heating concerns, or imposing new policies to prevent violence within the prison. 

Pursuing monetary damages can often be more complicated but may be necessary to recover costs associated with medical treatment, punitive damages, or presumed damages associated with a violation of civil rights.    

McCready Law Group: Protecting Your Rights  

If your loved one has communicated with you about neglect and abuse they’ve received, you need to take action now to make it stop. Call our criminal defense attorneys today at the McCready Law Group in Long Beach, California for help.

Proudly serving Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lakewood, Orange County, CA, and the surrounding areas, including Santa Ana and Fountain Valley. Criminal Defense and White Collar Crime Lawyer in Orange County, Domestic Violence and Manslaughter Lawyer in Orange County.