Inmate Abuse and Death
Law enforcement and prison guards have certain legal obligations to the inmates that they detain. When a citizen is taken into custody, the police department and the jail assume responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of that person. If they fail to protect the inmates, then the city, county, or state can be held liable for their actions or inactions.
Abuse is often thought of as being an active action (assault or cruel punishments), as opposed to a passive one (medical neglect or failure to properly monitor the mentally ill), but abuse to an inmate can take many forms. Listed below are some of the common types of abuse towards inmates:
- Beatings by jail personnel
- Use of excessive force
- Failing to segregate violent inmates
- Use of cruel and unusual punishments
- Ignoring the needs of the mentally ill inmates
- Withholding medications from the inmates
- Failing to provide medical attention
- Failing to properly monitor inmates on suicide watch
The above list is not exhaustive, but it comprises some of the more common inmate complaints.
It’s important to remember that although these individuals have been convicted of a crime, the criminal system still has legal and moral obligations to execute their daily duties in a humane manner.