Prison is a place where tens of thousands of men and woman pass through every year in California alone. Prisoners are a part of the fabrioners are entitled to acceptable standards of health, safety and human dignity, but their treatment far too often falls way below this threshold. And despite what many people believe, people in jail do have rights.
Leading Civil Rights and Human Rights Violations in the California Penal System
The California prison system has increasingly run afoul over the past few decades, leading to horrendous instances of prisoner abuse. Jails are overcrowded and poorly managed as their thirst for profit easily overshadow their concerns for even the most basic civil rights. Examples of prisoner abuse include:\
What We Do: Our California Civil Rights attorneys firmly believe that inmates deserve their basic human rights. Inmates are repeatedly shunned and silenced, and we take pride in providing a microphone and a defense for them. If you or a loved one has been abused, injured or stripped of your civil rights, please contact one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.
Medical Care in Prison – Failure to Provide Proper Meidcal Treatment and Violation of Civil Rights
The United States Constitution, notably the eighth amendment, provided a basis for adequate medical care for inmates. The eighth amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishment. Failure to provide adequate and prompt medical care when a jail knows or should know that an inmate is severely injured is a direct violation of their eighth amendment rights.
In fact, unknown to many inmates, California courts have ruled that prisoners have a legal remedy when their basic rights to medical care are being violated. By law, if a prison deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, the courts have a responsibility to remedy the resulting Eighth Amendment violation.
While prisons are not required to provide the highest level of health care possible, they are at least required to provide an amount deemed sufficient by human standards. Sadly, many prisons fail to live up to even these low standards.
What Is Medical Neglect in California Prisons
In order to prove that an inmate’s condition was being neglected, you must show a “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.” In other words, the injury sustained must have been serious, and the neglect must have been willful or purposeful.
As you can imagine, this is a difficult standard to prove. There is no clear definition of what severe is, and it is always difficult to prove that somebody’s inaction was deliberate. Our job, as a civil rights lawyer, is to overcome these obstacles and prove that your constitutional rights were violated.
The Problem with Overcrowded Prisons: The Supreme Court found in the historic case of Brown v. Plata that California prisons are too crowded. In fact, the case stated that the a court mandated population limit is necessary to remedy the violation of prisoners’ constitutional rights.
Excessive Force by Prison Guards: In addition to providing for sufficient medical care, the eighth amendment protects prisoners from excessive force from guards. Prisons are entitled to use a certain level of force in certain situations. However, the amount of force used must be reasonable and should not exceed the minimum that is necessary. Furthermore, the force used may not be retaliatory.
California Prisoner Civil Rights and Injury Attorneys
Inmates do not lose their rights when they enter a correctional facility. The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects prisoners from cruel and unusual punishment. Quite frankly treatment of many of these individuals fall far below the standards set forth by our founding fathers. In truth, the treatment of many jailed individuals amounts to nothing less than torture. However, unlike many other members of our society, inmates rarely have a forum to voice their mistreatment.