Denver, CO – Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Prison is hard on anyone. People convicted of an offense lose their freedom, but not their basic human rights. If you are behind bars or are worried about a loved one in a Denver prison, you need to keep in mind that US laws guarantee inmates’ fundamental human rights. If someone infringes upon their rights, that constitutes abuse. Reach out to experienced Denver prison abuse lawyers to see what legal remedies are available.
Read on to see what rights Denver inmates have.
The right to humane conditions
Prisons must offer decent living conditions. This means prisons in Colorado must be free from overcrowding, rodent or insect infestation, or fire hazards. Inmates must have access to showers and working toilets.
The right to healthy nutrition
Inmates must receive healthy food. Prisons must also accommodate the needs of prisoners who must follow a special diet for medical or religious reasons, as much as possible.
The right to adequate medical and mental health care
The right to adequate medical and mental care is guaranteed under the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Unfortunately, in Colorado, there have been blatant violations of prisoners’ right to medical care, especially at ADX Florence. Prisoners who were denied medical treatment had no option but to contact trustworthy Colorado prison abuse lawyers and sue.
The right to work
Prison work programs are meant to help inmates prepare for life outside, by giving them a chance to make money and get job skills. While inmates cannot choose the type of work or refuse assigned work, they cannot be denied the right to be gainfully employed while incarcerated. Unfortunately, inmates are typically paid far below minimum wage, which doesn’t offer much motivation and leaves inmates feeling exploited.
The right to be free from sexual harassment and discrimination
Federal laws prohibiting discrimination of any kind and sexual harassment fully apply in Colorado prisons. Inmates have the right to be treated the same, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or disabilities.
If you or a family member were subjected to sexual abuse in a Colorado prison, you must talk to seasoned prison abuse lawyers. They will help you gather the proof you’ll need to file a complaint or due those responsible.
Freedom of speech
This is guaranteed under the First Amendment to the Constitution. Inmates have the right to communicate with the outside world. Prison officials may open letters or read emails. However, any communication between an inmate and their legal team is considered privileged mail. Prison officials can open such mail only with the inmate present and strictly to look for contraband items. They are not allowed to read the messages an inmate receives or sends to their lawyers.
Freedom from excessive force
The use of excessive force constitutes cruel and unusual punishment prohibited under the Eighth Amendment. Guards are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force only to maintain order.
Inmates subjected to physical violence must file a complaint with the facility’s administration, wait for a response, and appeal the decision if necessary. They must exhaust the administrative complaint process before they are allowed to sue.
If you were a victim of any type of abuse in a Colorado jail or prison, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan&Terrill law firm in Denver to help you file a lawsuit.
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