If you are arrested and sent to jail, you deserve fair and safe treatment. This is a constitutional right. However, prisoner mistreatment and harm does occur in prison systems across the country. When you suffer mistreatment or injury in jail, it is important to explore your legal rights.
Can You Sue a Jail for Mistreatment?
If you or someone you love suffered jail neglect or abuse, you may have legal options. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, you may be eligible to sue for mistreatment. When pursuing such claims, it is important to have an experienced and aggressive civil rights attorney on your side. An attorney with experience handling civil rights violations is key to navigating your lawsuit and holding negligent or abusive institutions and officers accountable.
Understanding Your Rights in Jail or Prison
The first step in suing for mistreatment is to understand your rights as a prisoner.
Even in jail, you have constitutional rights protected by the Eight Amendment
. These rights include the right to:
- Medical care
- Adequate food and water
- Clothing and shelter
- Practice your religion
- Sue prison officials or the government for mistreatment
- Complain about mistreatment or unsafe jail conditions
Identifying Abusive Treatment and Gathering Evidence
The next step in suing for mistreatment is to identify and gather evidence of abusive treatment. Jail neglect and abuse can take many forms. Understanding those forms can help you recognize when a correctional officer or prison official violated your rights. If any of the following occurred, you may have cause to sue the jail for mistreatment.
- Discrimination in jail
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual abuse by prison guards or other prisoners
- Withholding food, water, or medical aid
- Neglecting to recognize risks or harmful conditions, such as suicide, sexual abuse, or physical abuse
- Physical abuse by prison guards or officers
- Failure to stop sexual or physical abuse by other inmates
A civil rights attorney will evaluate your case and may gather the evidence needed to prove that mistreatment occurred. This may mean speaking to other inmates or guards, as well as examining video tapes, visitation records, or medical records.
Following the Prison Litigation Reform Act
Before you can sue for mistreatment, you must comply with the Prison Litigation Reform Act. This means you need to meet the administrative rules of the correctional facility. An attorney can help you navigate this Act and determine if you meet all requirements for filing a civil lawsuit against a jail.
Contact the Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Civil Rights Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been the victim of mistreatment, assault, harassment, or abuse while incarcerated, schedule a free consultation with a Grant & Eisenhofer civil rights lawyer. We can help you determine your best legal options to hold abusive jails and officers accountable. Call (855) 244-2031
or use our online form
to schedule a free consultation.