A recent story reports the firing of a Pennsylvania prison guard for slapping an inmate unprovoked and then trying to cover it up. State law supported the guard's firing. Pennsylvania statute prohibits guards from using force other than to protect against bodily harm, property damage or destruction, criminal acts, or rule violations, and only when peaceful methods don't work. Guards can't use force just because an inmate offends them. After a prison video outed the guilty guard, a district court judge also found the guard guilty of harassment and fined him $100 plus court costs.
The story illustrates, far too gently, that prison isn't for the faint-hearted. Prisoner abuse is a genuine and substantial risk, and can be far worse than a mere slap in the face. If you or a loved one faces any prospect of jail or prison for Pennsylvania criminal charge, then don't run the risk of incarceration and abuse. Retain the premier criminal-defense representation of attorney Joseph D. Lento. The best way to avoid jail or prison abuse is to beat the criminal charge.
Prisoners Have Rights
Prisoners do have rights. The Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Federal courts have interpreted that prohibition to mean that prison guards must not use more force than necessary to properly restrain prisoners. Wall shackles, hosings, canings, and other abusive punishments are out. They may still happen, but prisoners who can prove their happening can get restraining orders and damages in a Section 1983 action.
The federal courts have also interpreted the Eighth Amendment to require at least minimal air circulation, subsistence food and water, and survivable temperatures rather than suffocating heat or debilitating cold. Guards are also supposed not to be deliberately indifferent to known serious medical needs, although prison medical care can be notoriously spare, especially for inmates with serious chronic conditions like diabetes or circulatory or respiratory disease.
The Best Offense Is a Good Defense
Having rights against prison abuse, though, doesn't prevent abuses. Rights just give you remedies, if you're able to prove them. The best way for a person charged with a serious crime to prevent prisoner abuse isn't to sue the guilty guards after abuse happens. It's too late then to prevent the abuse. The best way to prevent prisoner abuse is to beat the criminal charge. The best offense is a good defense. Avoid jail or prison, and you'll avoid prisoner abuse and all the other loss, suffering, and hardship that incarceration entails.
Retain the Best Available Defense Counsel
Don't sugar-coat jail or prison. Incarceration is far harder than most people think. If you or a loved one faces criminal charges in the Philadelphia area, running the risk of prison or jail, then promptly retain the premier representation of criminal-defense attorney Joseph D. Lento. Call the Lento Law Firm now at 888-535-3686 or go online to learn more.