Prisoners rights have come a long way from what they were in the 1800’s, prisoners back then had no rights they were abused and mistreated and the prison officials did whatever they wanted to prisoners and they had no say. During the 1800’s prisoners were kept in unsatisfactory conditions that were unclean, unsafe, falling apart and underfed they were giving small portions of bread, it seemed as they were being teased with the food.
There punishments were harsh and unruly, they were beaten to death and there was no one to blame for it or be punished when things like that happened.
When prisons started to change, the rights of prisoners began to develop making this an important step for them, prisoners were about to see progress in action in favor of them. Prisoners were about to see that they were not to be treated unfairly just because they are in prison, but they had rules they had to follow in addition to being more involved in their court case.
As an example they are able to sue prisons for harm against them or apply for appeals while in prison (Foster, 2006). The eighth amendment was established to set regulations as to the powers that the federal government has over prisoners. Prisoners now were allowed to use the cruel and unusual punishment law in the bill of rights against prison officials, just another thing prisoners were not able to do in the past. Law suits could be filed against prisons if there were excessive fines or any type of unruly punishment while in there care.
The importance of the eighth amendment was to force prisons to get their acts together changing the way they run their prisons. Conditions were to provide better living facilities, medical treatment and care, more staff, and to move violent inmates out of general population this allowed for fair treatment they deserved (Public Record Search, 2010). Having the civil rights litigation gave rights to prisoners, section 1983 this allowed for prisoners to be their own attorney general as they can file civil cases against the government.
Having this statue in action allowed people to challenge having to deal with the discrimination and segregation, as well as police abuse and other ways that people may have tried to mistreat them (Civil Rights Litigation, n. d. ). The Ku Klux Klan was the purpose of this law because of the attacks and abuse of individuals. This statute was called the Ku Klux Klan act. The importance of this statute was that people have the rights so that they can fight charges of abuse, physical abuse and racism towards them, but only individuals under the statute are subject to liability (forsythelaw, n. . ). One case in particular in 1941 brought about the implementation of prisoners rights, this case was heard in the Supreme Court where prison wardens would take mail and letters belonging to the inmates and reading them as to decide if he was to give the letters to the inmates. When prisoners heard of this they began questioning the warden and staff and by doing so the inmates were thrown in the hole as the warden seen this as disrespect not to question his attentions (Foster, 2006).
Prisoners of course were outraged and argued that they had no type of legal help or anyone to assist in getting their rights. As time went by they began to see that they were gaining more control and getting their personal rights as well as descent medical care, and how they were treated and disciplined. All in all they began to see improvements in those areas and noticed that they had more of a say in how they were treated in prison system. It was important that for prisoners to have rights, this allows them to feel like they are not slaves and treated as though they were peasants because they are locked up.
During the last few centuries prisons have changed enormously from what they were when they were first built, today’s prisoners now know they do not have to put up with any mistreatment they may receive from prison officials. They now know they have a say in what is right and what is wrong as far as being in jail. I feel as though this is a big thing for inmates to know that guards cannot beat them and not pay for their actions, or if they become ill they will not die because they are receiving proper medical treatment. Everyone has rights and that also goes for prisoners.
Cite this Prisoners Rights
Prisoners Rights. (2017, Apr 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/prisoners-rights/