Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights

Inmates are people too. Regardless of the crime committed or the time left to serve on their sentence, inmates are human beings that deserve to be treated as such. Across the nation, inmates are granted basic human rights that are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Whether you are facing prosecution or you have a family member behind bars, it is important to know your rights.

These are rights protected by the U.S. Constitution that you should be aware of.

The right to humane facilities and conditions – While awaiting trial, an inmate must be housed in proper facilities and cannot be treated as guilty.
The right to be free from sexual crimes – A prisoner cannot become the victim of sexual crimes or sexual harassment. This is protected by the Prison Rape Elimination Act. This act was established to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.” (Prison Rape Elimination Act, 2003). The act was also responsible for developing standards for the elimination of prison rape.
The right to be free from racial segregation – There shall be no racial segregation in prisons.
The right to express condition complaints – An inmate has the right to express their concerns about the conditions of the prison to the courts.
The right to assert their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act – Any inmate that has a disability is entitled to their rights as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The right to medical care and attention as needed – An inmate is entitled to medical care for long-term and short-term ailments.
The right to appropriate mental health care – An inmate is entitled to mental health care.
The right to a hearing if they are to be moved to a mental health facility – If an inmate is to be moved to a mental health facility, they are entitled to a hearing.

If you have a family member who is facing incarceration, for any length of time, be sure they are made aware of their rights as an inmate before going behind bars. We believe that no matter what, you are entitled to the rights given to you by the U.S. Constitution and want to make sure they are upheld. If you have questions about how we can help obtain your loved ones freedom through the bail bond process, give us a call today.

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If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated

Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.

Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details.
Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first).

File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish.

Call your local ACLU or visit www.aclu.org/profiling.

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If You Are Taken Into Immigration (Or “ICE”) Custody

You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services.

You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.

Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.

Remember your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.
Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust.

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If You Are Approached By Police Or Immigration Agents at Home

If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.

Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.

Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.

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