Denver Prison Abuse Attorney
While some jails and prisons operate under government authority, most of the jails and prisons in the United States are under private ownership and operate for profit. Like any other business, a for-profit prison may omit amenities and fail to meet appropriate operational standards to cut expenses, and prisoners may suffer as a result. Although inmates lose most of their constitutional rights during incarceration, they have specific rights and can sue prisons when they violate those rights.
At Bryan & Terrill Law, we want to help inmates in the Denver area fight for their rights while in jail or prison. Just because a person has broken the law does not mean they must endure cruel and unusual punishment, abuse, or physical harm at the hands of their jailers. Our Denver prison abuse lawyers have won multiple million dollar awards for inmates abused and/or injured while in jail and prison- we know how to help you.
Prisoners’ Rights in Colorado
Even the most violent offenders who are guilty of heinous crimes still have Constitutional protection in prison. Inmates have various rights, including:
- The right to medical care and mental health care as needed.
- The right to a hearing before a transfer to a mental health facility.
- The right to humane treatment.
- The right to clean and sanitary living conditions.
- Freedom from racial segregation. The only exception is when the safety of the prisoner and others is a concern, such as racially-divided prison gang conflicts and similar situations.
- Freedom from sexual abuse.
- Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment and physical abuse.
- The right to express concerns about their quality of life and prison conditions.
- Protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When a prisoner experiences a violation of any of these rights and legal protections, he or she may file a lawsuit in federal court, but only after all internal grievance options are exhausted. That is, the prisoner must follow the complaint process set forth by the jail or prison before he or she can pursue legal action. Additionally, the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act also places several rules for prisoners filing legal actions:
- Prisoners must pay for their own court filing fees. There are one-time payment options as well as monthly installment options.
- Courts have the right to dismiss “frivolous” claims, or any claims that appear to be made with malicious intent or supported by false statements. Once a court dismisses such a case, the prisoner will receive a “strike.” After three strikes, they may only file a court claim if they pay the total required fee upfront.
- Prisoners can only file a claim for emotional injury or mental distress if they also suffered a physical injury.
- If the inmate lies in a claim, files a frivolous claim, or files a claim with malicious intent, he or she may lose credit for good time served.
Filing a Legal Claim from Jail or Prison
Incarceration is a universally unpleasant experience, and anyone facing jail or prison time needs to know their protections and rights under the U.S. Constitution. If your loved one has a problem in jail or prison that may require legal assistance, reach out to the team at Bryan & Terrill Law. We can meet with you to discuss the situation and let you know how viable your claim will be in court.