What rights do inmates in prison have while they are serving their sentence? It depends on the crime upon which they are convicted and the severity of which that crime was committed. Anyone who has murdered or molested children does not deserve to go back out into the civilized world. Especially like Jared Loughner who killed 6 and wounded 13. However, they are human beings and certain basic necessities must be met so that they may live without being treated like animals. These basics would include:
Food and Clean Water: 3 meals a day in which the prisoner is not being abused by the guards and is able to consume the vital nutrients that will sustain their bodies. Clean water is also a basic necessity in which they should have some form of access to, in which they will not suffer from dehydration.
2 sets of clothing: The reasoning why only 2 sets of clothing is so that they will have a pair when one is dirty but they do not deserve anymore than 2 for the reason of they should not be pampered with a sleeping shirt, sleeping pants, slippers, etc.
Sanitary facilities: Including restrooms, eating areas, living space and a place outdoors in which they may be able to stretch or have exercise.
Now there are other rights that inmates have now such as access to medical facilities and dentists. In this case it would determine whether they would be able to qualify for such expensive care through the severity of the crime in which they were convicted. Such as someone who had stolen a necklace would be able to qualify, as to where a person who had killed 15 would not be open to the luxury of such facilities. But it is very hard to even say that the public should be paying for a criminals care and the person whose taxes are going to them might not even be getting the same amount of care as an inmate. Inmates should have the right to get basic medical care but not state of the art facilities when millions of people do not even have health insurance.
Inmates should have the right to a system of a market and a certain way in which they can develop currency to purchase items that they need. Like in many prisons now, inmates create license plates, windows, or cleaning the prison as a janitor. They receive very little but the money they earn they should have some a place in which they can spend their money on items such as t-shirts, books, toothbrushes, etc.
Inmates should also have the privilege to be exposed to television (if they so desire) for 30 minutes a day so that they will be able to know what else will be happening in the world or for any other purpose in which they desire to watch the television. (Depends on the sentence) And through watching television it will provide some sort of entertainment for them through an otherwise very “dull” day.
Lastly inmates should have the privilege to a library in which they can read literature or be able to write as it would bring some form of something to do and especially if some are big readers, one would assume they would appreciate it.
Inmate’s rights should be upheld and followed through upon, however there are certain situations in which their sentencing might impact their rights. The inmates should have privileges such as the library but, these privileges can be taken away if in any way they abuse that privilege.
In the end they are human and these rights and privileges should become a form of basis for prisons to uphold or offer to inmates.