Inmate Rights

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Kristen Paul
Week 7
December 1, 2012

The Rights that Inmates Possess

Upon entering prison, inmates will lose most of their right as a free citizen. Although most of our rights afforded to us are a result of how we live our lives here in the United States, some of our rights still are maintained within the prison walls. These rights are listed within the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment. The First amendment states we have the right to freedom of speech, press, and religion. The Fourth amendment states we have the right from unlawful searches and seizures. The eighth amendment protects us from cruel and unusual punishment. The Fourteenth amendment states that no state shall impose a law that imposes on the rights listed in the Bill of Rights as well as due process. And though all prisoners maintain these rights, the protection and security of those within the prison system supersede these rights. There have been many cases that have been heard as high up as the Supreme Court, involving violation of a prisoner’s rights. The most prominent cases tend to do with religious interference.

David Griffin, an inmate serving a sentence of imprisonment in the State correctional system, was transferred to the Shawangunk Correctional Facility, Ulster County, in May 1991. He alleged that, prior to this transfer; he had been approved for participation in the Family Reunion Program. The Family Reunion Program is based in New York State, ad has prisoner follow a process to be released from state custody, into the custody of family. He was advised that due to prior heroin abuse earlier in his lifetime, his continued participation in the Family Reunion Program would be contingent on his participation in the ASAT (Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment) Program at the facility. This program follows the similar philosophies of a Twelve- step program. David Griffin complied, and attended the ASAT Program for several months. He then subsequently...
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