How Do Pennsylvania Inmates Maintain Their Rights While Incarcerated?

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Human Rights
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Even though human rights must be observed at all times, being incarcerated curtails most rights of prisoners. However, this does not mean that inmates in any prison in the United States of America do not have their basic human rights.

The constitution of the United States of America protects the rights of all prisoners, no matter the crime that a person committed before being jailed.

If you are facing incarceration, or you have a loved one being sent to jail, you need to understand all your rights to ensure that you are not exploited.

Human Rights
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That notwithstanding, the rights of prisoners vary from state to state depending on the stage their criminal process is at.

For instance, those that are in the pre-trial stage (these are people who are held in prisons while waiting for the completion of their trial) in Pennsylvania have to be held in humane prisons and should not be punished. They should also not be treated as guilty before the verdict of their trial. 

There are different violations of human rights that inmates in Pennsylvania prisons might be subjected to and different ways through which they can maintain their human rights while incarcerated. These include;

Disabled Prisoners

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that any prisoner with any form of disability should be offered reasonable accommodation while in Prison.

This is important in making sure that such prisoners can access the same facilities without any issues just like prisoners without any disabilities.

It does not mean that the accommodation has to be extraordinary, it needs to be reasonable.

If you are going to prison in Pennsylvania, you need to make sure that you have alerted your family members for you to be found using an inmate searcher and for them to evaluate if you are being held under reasonable conditions despite your disability.

Sexual Harassment

Inmates in Pennsylvania prisons should be protected from sexual harassment or any form of sex crimes. This does not discriminate and applies to sexual crimes committed by the prison personnel or other inmates.

There are courts in Pennsylvania that have held government officials, administrators, and prison guards liable to sexual crimes on inmates or for allowing the crimes to occur under their watch. Others have been accused of introducing programs that encourage sexual harassment.

In Pennsylvania prisons, inmates are allowed to lodge complaints in situations where they have been harassed sexually.

Religious Discrimination

The American constitution protects prisoners from being religiously discriminated against.

If you find yourself in a Pennsylvania prison which implements a policy, practice, or law that curtails your religious beliefs, then the prison officials must prove that the law is necessary to uphold a certain government interest such as your health and safety as well as that of other prisoners.

If the officials are not able to prove this, then you have a right to practice your religious beliefs. Inmates can use technology to learn about their rights and what they deserve while in prison.

Prisoners in Pennsylvania that have this right infringed on have the option of filing a complaint with the United States Department of Justice Special Litigation Division. They can also engage the ACLU in Pennsylvania for assistance.

Human rights are essential no matter where one is. In Pennsylvania prisons, every prisoner should be respected and handled in humane ways no matter the stage of their criminal process.

Prisoners also need to make sure that their rights are not infringed on and file complaints whenever they are not happy.