Manhattan Prison Injury
When someone is convicted of a crime or is in jail waiting for their criminal case to be resolved, they do give up some rights. For example, they give up the right to move about freely. However, they do not give up all of their rights. The experienced Manhattan prison injury lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates understand that even those who are incarcerated retain basic human rights that corrections officers and prison guards must respect. However, far too often, inmates are treated as if they have no rights. They are often beaten and deprived of medical care at the hands of prison staff. If you are someone you care about has been brutalized while in prison or jail, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates immediately. We will listen to the facts and discuss options for ensuring that your rights are protected.Inmate Rights
Being arrested and incarcerated means a loss of rights. That is part of the punishment for the crime or, in some cases, it is part of the precautions that are taken during the criminal justice process. For example, inmates cannot leave the prison when they want to and there are restrictions on moving about the facility. They cannot see friends and family whenever they want to or use the phone at any time.
However, inmates do retain human rights. They have the right to:
- Receive medical treatment when they are sick or injured
- Be protected from assault and sexually assaulted by violent inmates
- Not be punished arbitrarily or excessively
- Freedom from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin
- Receive adequate nutrition
- Live in sanitary conditions
- Freedom of religion
- Retaliation for reporting misconduct
- To consult with counsel, including an experienced Manhattan prison injury lawyer
Sadly, the rights of inmates are often violated. Because of the nature of prison, complaints of inmates are often ignored. It is also common for inmates who complain to be retaliated against. Examples of how the rights of inmates are violated include:
- Use of excessive force. Prisons and jails can be dangerous places, as many of the inmates are violent and desperate. Corrections officers are trained on when to use force and how to use it. However, when corrections officers use excessive force and cause injury to an inmate, they can be held civilly liable. A corrections officer would have used excessive force if they used more force than necessary to control the inmate, to protect themselves, or to protect others.
- Assault. Far too often corrections officers assault inmates for no good reason. The attacks are unprovoked and may be simply a show of power. Or, it may be because the corrections officer holds a grudge against the inmate because of the crime that inmate was convicted of. Regardless of the reason, it is illegal and a violation of the inmate’s rights for a corrections officer to assault them.
- Sexual assault. Sexual assault is a major problem in prisons. While inmates do sexually assault each other, corrections officers and other prison staff also sexually assault inmates.
- Failing to protect. The job of a corrections officer is more than controlling inmates. Their job, as well as the job of other prison staff, is to ensure the safety of prisoners. Thus, they must protect inmates from being assaulted, sexually assaulted, and otherwise victimized by other inmates. Not only have there been many documented instances of corrections officers ignoring inmate violence, there have been instances where corrections officers encouraged and facilitated it.
Violence by corrections officers and other prison staff and their failure to protect inmates can lead to inmates suffering serious personal injury. Injuries from prison assaults can lead to broken bones, internal damage, concussions, paralysis, and other serious injuries.
As an experienced prison injury attorney serving Manhattan will explain, when inmates are brutalized in prisons and suffer injuries because prison staff are not doing their jobs, the responsible staff and the facility itself may be liable based on
- Violations of the civil rights of the inmate
- Negligent hiring or retention
Corrections officers who injure inmates through their willful behavior or through their negligence should not only face disciplinary action by their superiors as well as criminal prosecution when appropriate, they should also face civil liability. Civil liability means that the responsible corrections officer and the prison itself would be required to pay the inmate damages for their physical injuries, pain and suffering, and any other losses they suffered. If the inmate died as a result of the actions or inaction of prison staff, their family would have a wrongful death cause of action.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Regardless of what people think about those who commit crimes, those who are incarcerated do have rights. If prison officials choose to violate those rights, the experienced prison injury attorneys in Manhattan at Stephen Bilkis & Associates have the knowledge and resources to help. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.