Just because you’re facing criminal charges or even serving time does not mean you do not have any rights. They may be different than those held by others — for instance, some felonies can overrule your right to own firearms — but you do not lose all human rights just because you’re in the criminal justice system.
Understanding your rights is key to protecting them. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
The rights you still have
If your rights are being violated, you may have legal options, but the first step is to understand what those rights should look like. Here are a few examples of the rights you still have as an inmate:
- A right to be treated fairly based on race
- A right not to be victimized by other crimes, such as sexual crimes
- A right to have humane conditions within the prison facility
- A right to log complaints when conditions are not good enough
- A right to get proper medical care, both for physical and mental health
- When transferred to a mental health center, the right to a hearing
- The right to proper conditions if you have a disability covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
The goal of the prison system is supposed to be to reform those within that system. Whether or not this really happens, everyone inside still deserves to have their rights upheld and to be treated well, regardless of the allegations regarding what crimes they may have committed.
If you are facing serious charges or if you have faced rights violations while behind bars, make sure you know exactly what legal options you have. Part of your defense attorney’s role is making sure that your rights are protected at all times.