What Are Inmate's Rights?
The issue of an inmates'
rights involves balancing the rights associated with being a citizen of the
jurisdiction in which the inmate is incarcerated with the practical matters
involves. Perhaps the most controversial issue on this topic is an inmate’s rights to vote. Many jurisdictions have revoked the
right to vote — called “disenfranchisement” — of anyone who is convicted of
certain crimes. Given the limitations of a prison,
such as inmates' rights to freedom of expression
and freedom of religion are at the forefront of this debate. Additionally, the dehumanization of
prisoners through poor conditions in prisons is a topic that prisoners’
advocacy groups often target.
The disenfranchisement of an inmate’s rights
to vote is a hotly contested topic in areas where the right to vote is
considered fundamental to every citizen. For example, in some states in the
United States, any person who is convicted of a felony — i.e., a crime
that carries a punishment of one year imprisonment or more — loses his or her
right to vote. However, many states have revoked any disenfranchisement laws
that were once active.