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ASSIGNMENT: PRISONER RIGHTS TANESHA BRENNO 3/14/11 LARRY DOYLE

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Prisoners rights were not so much of a big thing before the 60¶s, courts refused to set standards for the treatment of prisoners. The courts referred to experienced prison administrators in order to avoid interfering with their ability to respond to the varied, more complex issues that were involved in the penal system. Some of these issues can include: security, rehabilitation, custody, limited resources, discipline, and punishment. By the late 1960¶s, prisoner treatment was almost intolerable in most states (Curriden,1995). The courts then had to review the claims that prisoners had made and they intervened regularly on their behalf. Finally, they realized and made a point to show that even prisoners are entitled to certain rights. They may be minimum rights but they can include: access to the courts, freedom of expression and religion, the Constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to due process. There are many positive and negative effects of prisoner rights. The obvious positives are that the prisoners are treated like human beings inside of prison. These rights make the prisoners realize that they are in fact humans and with that being said, they want to try harder to succeed after being released. Some of the prisoners have never in their lives been treated like a human being and by the staff and the courts doing so they might feel like there is hope out there for them. Some negatives of prisoner rights are that, for one; prisoners can now get away with talking when they really shouldn¶t. One of the biggest issues with prisoner rights is that they have all of these new rights and laws and they feel as though it is ok for them to attempt to establish new rights in court. This not only takes tax payers money and uses it as hopeless energy, but it also takes the time away from everyone involved in the court proceedings. While imprisoned, inmates go through and see the scenes of brutality, stress, and violence. They are usually faced with incidence of violence and they are always worried about their safety. Prisoners are always under pressure of some kind because if they aren¶t preying on

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someone themselves they in fact are being preyed upon by someone else. Prison is supposed to cure criminals of their crimes but it seems as though sometimes it can cause more harm than good. There are the many aspects of prison that shock each and every person who enters. First of all, prisoners need to withstand the entry shock by adapting quickly (uplink.com). Each prisoner is exposed to new cultures, different from their own. Another big thing is that they need to keep in contact with their friends and family; this may get frustrating as well for them. This may also be the prisoners largest stress point. If family and friends are no longer able to be contacted this would get stressful because it would be then that the prisoner would think that they are alone and that no one on the outside wants anything to do with them anymore. The final possibility I am going to mention is the prisoners thought and fear of deterioration. By this I mean lack of personal choice within the prison environment. The Eighth Amendment restricts the severity of punishments that the federal and state governments may impose upon people who have been convicted of any criminal offense. This amendment protects prisoners from cruel and unusual punishment. If any prisoner is beaten or raped by another inmate, staff, or even officers they know that they have something protecting them. In Holt v. Sarver (300F.Supp82, 1969) it was founded that solitary confinement or isolation was not unconstitutional. Some prisoners I am sure have tried fighting the way that they were treated while in prison, unfortunately for them they can be thrown in the ³hole´, if in fact they needed to be taken away from the rest of the prison community. The Eighth amendment is very important because it protects the prisoners and any other individual from excess bail and fines as well. Although prisoners are prisoners, they still need to be treated like the humans that they are and they still need to have the same human rights as any other individual under those

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particular state laws. When they are convicted they do lose some of their citizenship rights. I believe that prisoners ARE human beings and should be treated as human beings. Prison is a form of punishment and if certain rights are not implemented prisoners would do whatever and whenever they felt or wanted to do it, leaving them right where they started and they would probably end up back behind bars once again. Some rights I do not believe in are the right to conjugal visits and temporary leave passes. I feel that these rights can easily be taken advantage of and from the research I have done conjugal visits are only for couples who are married. You would think that all of these prisoners who are getting married are doing so only so that they can have their conjugal visits. I feel that the temporary leave passes are another bad idea, because of the simple fact that these people are in prison for doing something really bad or for doing ³stupid stuff´ too many times. They should not be rewarded for anything, even if they had been doing well. That is just my opinion.

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REFRENCES www.uplink.com/prisoners/behindbars .com retrieved on 3/13/11

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