Protecting prisoner rights in the United States
At the Law Offices of Myles S. Breiner, we strive to be the voice for incarcerated individuals. With our years of experience in tackling the most difficult of cases in Hawaii, on the mainland, and internationally, we are committed to ensuring justice is served even to the prisoners who feel powerless.
What Are My Rights as a Prisoner?
The rights of a person who is incarcerated may vary slightly, depending on where they are incarcerated and at what stage of the criminal process their conviction may be. Inmates who are at the pre-trial stage have the right to be detained in humane facilities and cannot be punished or treated as guilty as they await trial.
For other inmates, they have the following rights:
- Every inmate has the right to be free from inhumane treatment or anything considered as “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Cruel and unusual punishments include drawing and quartering, disemboweling, beheading, public dissection, and burning alive.
- Inmates have the right to complain about prison conditions and to voice their concerns to both prison officials and the courts.
- Prisoners with disabilities have the right to receive certain reasonable accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act.
- Inmates are entitled to get the medical care and mental health treatment that they need to recover.
- Prisoners are able to practice their First Amendment rights, which includes freedom of speech, expression, religion, etc.
- Like on the outside of a correctional facility, inmates are required to be free from racial segregation unless doing so would endanger them.
- Inmates are entitled to adequate medical care.
- Inmates are given the right to exercise their religion whether they are in a state or federal jail or prison.
However, When Your Rights Are Violated, Does the Prison Litigation Reform Act Prevent You from Suing?
The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) is a federal that was amended to curtail lawsuits brought by incarcerated individuals. There are several restrictions written in the provision that greatly impact how you can proceed with a lawsuit while in prison. Such restrictions include:
- The lawsuit must undergo the prison’s grievance procedure. If you directly file your lawsuit in federal court without undergoing the grievance procedure, it will most likely be dismissed.
- Prisoners must pay court filing fees in full. One major complication of this procedure is that prison or the facility holding the prisoner is required to cooperative administratively in the process of assessing the court’s statutory fee.
- Three strikes in filing your complaint forces you to pay the court filing fee up front should you file another case. Know that each lawsuit or appeal that you file counts as a strike.
- You are unable to file a lawsuit for mental or emotional injury unless you can also show a physical injury.
Myles S. Breiner’s Law Offices have a low and successful history of advocating for prisoner rights under the most serious circumstances. Entrust your case to our passionate defense attorney and have your civil and human rights protected.
Have Your Rights Protected Even in Prison
At the Law Offices of Myles S. Breiner, we offer compassion, understanding and a passion for protecting prisoners. Call us at 808-526-3426 or contact us online.
If you live in Honolulu, you’re probably familiar with the name Myles S. Breiner. Our high-profile cases and common media appearances reflect a practice steeped in integrity and commitment to the rights of the accused.