Extrajudicial Executions and Assaults in American Prisons and the Looming Human Rights Crisis
American prison system, Rights of prisoners, Recidivism, Violence in prison
Sturm College of Law
It is submitted herein that while inmates in American prisons may not have a “right” to cable television or sex change operations at the public's expense, they do have an absolute right to life, and to be free from assault, murder, and the predations of fellow prisoners. In other words, prisoners have a basic human right to live without any contact whatsoever with other prisoners. But this does not mean they should have no right to human contact with non-prisoners. To the contrary, a corollary to the basic human right to be free from the ravages of other prisoners is the right to regular and healthy human contact with family, counselors, and educators. Most prisoners recognize that their recidivism rate would decline if such systems were in place. One prisoner in particular noted that without healthy human contact, “an individual starts to feel and believe that no one cares for him. That belief and feeling may cause an individual to develop an ‘I don't care’ attitude.”
Robert Hardaway & Brandi Joffrion, Extrajudicial Executions and Assaults in American Prisons and the Looming Human Rights Crisis, 51 Crim. L. Bul. 652 (2015).