May 1, 2011
CJS/230, Dr. Kay Carter
Prisoner rights are important because they prevent prisons from taking advantage of people. They also help to ensure that the punishment fits the crime. Without prisoner rights, those who are responsible for ensuring that society is safe from people who cannot live by society’s rules would be free to treat prisoners whatever way they saw fit, and abuse would be commonplace. Even though prisoners lose a lot of their citizen’s rights when they are convicted, they still have certain rights that make sure that they are treated fairly. Some of those rights include freedom of speech and religion, freedom from arbitrary punishment and cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to have access to the courts through Habeas Corpus. These rights are guaranteed so that prisoners are not treated unfairly, or even in an inhumane fashion. If these rights were not guaranteed to prisoners, abuse and neglect would be rampant and violence would be worse than it is now. The prisoners’ rights movement has had its effects on the individual prisoner. They now have more access to the courts and benefit from internal procedures which help to resolve disputes within the prison. Because of the prisoners’ rights movement, individual inmates now expect better treatment than prisoners before them had received. The bad side of prisoners having more rights is that some may want more and more rights. This causes the social behavior of the inmates to be of the attitude that they deserve to be treated a certain way. Unfortunately, some prisoners believe that they should be given more freedoms than they currently have. One of the rights that prisoners have is to complain about the prison conditions and voice their concerns about the treatment that they receive. (County Prison Help) This is beneficial to those who are truly being treated inhumanely or unjustly, but there are instances where...