Lee MWF 10am
UNIV 111 Paper 3
Across the country every day in the US Prison system there are numerous incidents revolving around the abuse of prisoners by the guards whose jobs are supposed to be to protect the inmates. In this essay we will evaluate multiple different stories told about prisoners in drastically different parts of America, but they all have a common theme of prisoners being abused by those in power, the guards; furthermore, many inmates are treated in inhumane ways such as starving or not allowing prisoners in solitary confinement access to water. Many guards have been reported for mentally and physically abusing inmates especially those with mental health issues who cannot understand or respond to every order given to them. Additionally, it has become systematic that when this type of abuse occurs since actions in prisons are confidential that most prisons either won’t report these claims of prisoner abuse or will take minimum disciplinary action against guards which leaves them mostly unchecked and unaccountable for their actions. Many guards even promote a violent environment by not intervening during prisoner on prisoner violence. Moreover, since the passing of the PLRA in 1996 it has become more difficult for prisoners to file grievances and gain the ability to go to court and gain compensation for their abuse; additionally, this lengthy process usually leads to retaliation from guards before they even have a chance to make it to court and change their mind due to this coercion by the guards. Some laws have been enacted to help protect the rights of these prisoners such as PREA which is supposed to help make sure prisons are collecting data about rapes and sexual abuse occurring in prisons and preventing them; however, this is an optional law and states are even compensated for participating, yet only 13 out of 50 states are PREA compliant. Meanwhile, most prisoners continue to be subjected to mental, physical, sexual, and emotional violence at the hands of guards and other inmates without any consequences for the offenders. As Victoria Law wrote, “These criticisms are nothing new, countless survivors have faced similar challenges for not reporting assaults and attempted assaults, this is particularly true for incarcerated survivors, who know that reporting sexual abuse is more likely to result in more punishment for them and little to no accountability for the person who harmed them.” In this instance she clearly states that it is more dangerous for inmates to report sex crimes committed against them because it will only make their lives more dangerous and miserable. It is the responsibility of the US Legal system to give these inmates who are fellow human beings the same basic rights and treatment that every human deserves, and to hold the people trying to limit those freedoms accountable for their actions.
In the US Prison system guards are not protecting the inmates; rather, they are either the...