Of course, those imprisoned do not have full Constitutional rights, but according to the Amendment, prisoners are protected against cruel and unusual punishment. Prisoners must also be allowed a minimum standard of living. There are also federal and state laws that govern prison establishments and their administration in addition to the rights of inmates.
A few other Constitutional rights include the following:
The Due Process Clause, according to the Fifth Amendment, no one will be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” Each and every state has the obligation to grant prisoners these rights. Administrative appeals which can accomplish a number of tasks, including correcting errors committed by a trial court, developing the law and achieving uniformity across courts. Access to the parole process which is a conditional release established for the prisoners prior to completing their full sentence.
The Amendment, The Equal Protection Clause also applies to inmates, protecting them against unequal treatment on the basis of race, sex and creed. There is also the Sentencing and Corrections Act which protects prisoners from the same unequal treatment as the 14th Amendment does. There are even some limited rights to speech and religion.
Prisoners of the state do not have rights to specific classifications such as maximum or minimum security, solitary confinement and the like. The courts are unwilling to limit state prison officials’ options to classify prisoners.
Federal prison officials, on the other hand, have been granted full discretion by Congress to control prisoner classifications as they affect the conditions of their confinement. Prior to Congress’s decision, these issues were left to the control of the Federal Bureau of Prisons but can now be decided by the federal prison officials.
Prison officials tend to be respected by the court systems where prisoners’ rights are concerned. As long as a prisoner has their Constitutional rights and the prisoner’s conditions and degree of confinement are well within their sentence, this holds true. However, the due process clause does not necessitate judicial oversight. When certain prison regulations impose on a prisoner’s Constitutional rights, the strict inquiry test will not apply, however a relational test will be utilized. This means that the lowest level of judicial scrutiny is employed and the test will be whether or not there is a relational relation to a legitimate state interest.
In essence, a prisoner’s rights will be employed and reviewed if any misdemeanor of rights is suspected. Prison officials will be watched to make certain that a prisoner’s Constitutional and State rights are employed. The basic rights of a prisoner are freedom of some religions, the right to free time (but this can be revoked), and the basic right to exist. Prisoners are not permitted anything in addition to these, for after all, they are prisoners.