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What Are Prisoner Rights?

Every individual is entitled to assert his or her human rights in any circumstance. However, it is believed that prisoners are no longer entitled to the same human rights that others exercise given that they have proven themselves a detriment to society and should no longer have the benefit to assert such rights. As much as prisoners are deprived of liberty or suffrage, they are to be given the basic human rights to ensure their welfare within a confined rehabilitation facility.

Prisoner rights may include the right to eat a nutritious meal, the right to live in safe living conditions, the right to medical care, the right to religious freedom, and many more. Despite imprisonment, prisoners are still to be treated in a respectful and courteous manner, as any other individual would expect to be treated.

The issues usually addressed by prisoner rights are those involving abuse and torture, work without pay, visitation rights, and access to information and education. Such issues are often the primary focus of prisoner advocate groups lobbying for increased enforcement of prisoner rights.

Abuse and torture are common with regards to prisoners who are harmed by other prisoners, law enforcement officers, or by the prison guards. Abuse can also indirectly refer to the lack of religious freedom and freedom of speech that exists within a prison environment. Prisoners are also used as a source of cheap labor as they are paid very little and sometimes, paid no compensation at all.

Visitation rights are heavily curtailed even if a prisoner is on good behavior and access to information or education is very limited. Thus, the justification of advocate groups to assert prisoner rights on behalf of prisoners.

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