APA Referenced Order


Legal consideration in confinement



The amendments in the laws that are applicable to inmates mostly did not under broad physical writing rather the interpretation of the existing came out as a change in the old clauses through specification of what is to be considered deprivation of an individual’s rights while in prison. The Supreme Court has been a major contributor in the decisions it makes and the interpretations which prompts the change of clauses and specification of matters at hand.

The standard case that led to a major amendment in the treatment and interpretation of the inmates’ laws is the Turner versus Safley 482 U.S. 78 (1987). It was a case challenging the regulations of the Missouri Division that was discriminatory in permitting inmate-to-inmate correspondence between prisons or in the same prison. It was found that the use of the law which considers penological interests does not consider marriage as a threat. Since marriage of inmates has no security concerns it was considered a violation of prisoners’ rights (Carmen et al, 2008). Before inmates were allowed by the prison’s superintended only under compelling factors of which it was identified to be only pregnancy. Following the amendment after the ruling of the Supreme Court there was a distinction denying inmates marriage was denying them their rights since it has no linkage to security concerns that were being protected. This was labeled the first amendment on chapter 19 on “your right to communicate with the outside world” where there was no security concern and which also included religious freedom still on the first amendment on chapter 27.

The Eighth Amendment is part of the constitution which protects prisoners from punishment that are considered cruel and seem to degrade human dignity. It protects from such punishment of stripping someone of his citizenship and hefty bail demands that would eventually deny someone a chance to prepare his/her defense properly (Smith, 2008). The origin to the eighth amendment is a particular case that involved the lynching of a man to death in South Carolina in 1825. In 1972 the Supreme Court drew a list of punishments considered to be cruel and unusual (Smith). The Eighth Amendment has existed for quite a long time what marks its popularity is the interpretation that has changed over the years on the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause. The case of Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958), which was a case in which an ex-soldier was being denied visa for he was no longer considered an American citizen was deemed as worse than death penalty to a person who was born in the US. The case made the Supreme Court to develop a framework that could be used as a guideline in interpretation and later developed a list of cruel and unusual punishment (Palmer, 1998). The court also elaborated using the Trop v. Dulles case that the society will determine what is cruel and unusual using the level of enlightenment (perception and knowledge) that is in place since not all involve use of physical force.

Fourteenth Amendment Claims requires that allows the prisoner to follow due process in laying down claims or seeking relief from violations. The prisoners are also entitled to a fair hearing in disciplinary proceedings (chapter 18- your rights at prisons disciplinary proceedings). The fourteenth amendment also protects from unfair treatment of prisoners and discrimination. When a prisoner lays claims he/she is supposed to show that the unequal treatment was intentional and the circumstances under which they occurred were similar. The reinforcement of the act was sparked by the Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S 167 (1961) in which police officers were considered not to have followed due process in arresting and ransacking the house of Monroe (Kumar, 1986). The Amendment derived from sub-section 1 of the April 20, 1981 Act protects against such violation of individual rights under R.S. SS 1979. The amendments provide for a private right of action for compensation and police officers can be held accountable for such violations while the municipalities are free from blame.

The fourth Amendment that addressed the issue of pre-trial confinement and the searches upon detainees of these kinds and the rest: if they were in violation of the basic human Rights. They were found to be necessary for in ensuring the security of the prisons. The case that was under consideration was that of Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 (1979); the institutions were considered to use certain limitations on rights and provisions to secure the surrounding. Double-bunking whereby two detainees are kept in a cubicle meant for one was considered free of any violation. When it comes to pre-trial detainees the Supreme court decided that the safety of the general public be put first such those who are suspects may be detained even before trial so long as it is reasonable enough to secure the free public (Dimitrakoupolos, 2007).


Most of the amendments to inmates came as the society perception of the prison changed from places of punishment to places of reform. The Supreme Court had the opinion that was considered as cruel or unusual or inappropriate will change the more the society is polished shifting from those violations which apply excessive force to those which bring prolonged depression.






Carmen, R., Ritter, E.S., Witt A.B., (2008).Briefs of Leading Cases in Corrections. Newark, NJ:          Mathew Bender & Company.

Dimitrakopoulos, I.G., (2007). Individual Rights and Liberties under the U.S Constitution.         Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

Kumar, N., (1986). Constitutional Rights of Prisoners: a study of judicial trends. New Delhi:      Mittal publishers.

Palmer, L.J., (1998). The Death Penalty: an American Guide to Understanding Federal and State          Laws. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Smith, R., (2008). Eighth Amendment: the Right to Mercy. Edina, USA: ABDO Publishing        Company.

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