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Do prison injuries violate the Constitution?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2020 | Personal Injury

Prison exists for a reason. But inmates deserve freedom from inhumane conditions. According to a recent report, countless U.S. prisoners face horrendous circumstances, many of which violate their fundamental human rights.

In one instance, a prisoner in Alabama got doused with bleach and beaten with a broken mop handle. Another got attacked with hot shaving cream that resulted in severe chemical burns.

Even though the abuse occurred hundreds of miles away, such atrocities can happen in any correctional facility.

Inmate abuse violates the Eighth Amendment

The Constitution protects everyone, even dangerous prisoners. Inmates should never face cruel or unusual punishment. Any action that violates an inmate’s basic concept of personal dignity violates the Eighth Amendment. Sadly, facilities don’t always comply with the law of the land. Here are a few examples of how prisoners can face mistreatment:

  • Exposure to unreasonably extreme temperatures
  • Lacking proper health care
  • Facing sexual abuse at the hands of staff or other inmates
  • Lacking proper mental health care
  • Lacking ability to express complaints about their conditions
  • Facing racial or other forms of discrimination
  • Lacking safe and functional facilities

While the Eighth Amendment shields prisoners from harsh conditions, they face some limitations. For instance, prisoners don’t retain a right to privacy. That means corrections staff can conduct searches and go through their personal belongings if they believe prisoners are acting illegally.

Prisoners are people too

Prisoners are still human beings. Sadly, abuse hurts more than just the inmates. It can create pain and suffering for their loved ones as well. If families suspect abuse behind bars, a trusted legal partner can help get them the justice they deserve.


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