Prison Violence As Pressing Of Human Rights

The U.S prison system is the largest system in the world and is more complex. They are run by the federal government, local government, and state government. The U.S. prison has the most population in the world, because of all the crime and violation committed in today’s world. In different areas across the United States, they are trying to build better prisons, not only to protect people in and out; but how it’s growing and expanding. They are advancing, due to having so much people in prison, so they need the space to hold each individual. However, the population started growing during 1980s and early 1990s.

The reason for the over population is that people did bad like for example drugs and having gangs. They have committed crimes and violate the laws, after a few of the crimes were committed, the president back then declares “war on drugs” his name was Roland Reagan. When the word was put out, the state of California decided to make a change in 1994. He then led the “Three strikes and you’re out” because of the raise in drug related offense. It also meant that if any person was to be convicted of three felonies may be sentence life to prison. Although, the criminal system works in many ways, they tend to have different categories for different states. The United States usually divides their crimes and how they control their rights that go in and out. As the prison system grows rapidly; they will all have rights for prisoners.

Some of the rights that prisoners face, are do they have the right to vote, while doing their time in prison. Why or why not? We asked. There are twenty-one states that don’t allow felons to vote. The states are Georgia, Idaho, New Jersey, North Carolina, Alaska, Lowa, Louisiana, Texas, Washington, South Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland, West Virginia, Nebraska, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nevada and last but not least Wisconsin. They don’t allow them to vote while doing time in prison. However, in some cases some people can still vote if they finish their time. But other people feel different about the situation. The people of the state feel that if a person committing a crime can’t follow or even willing to follow the law, why should we care or why should they have the opportunity to have a say in that role that everyone else has. Matter of fact it’s almost like voting if you look at it. Having a say in the law is like having a say in voting, because the voting is like making a law legal to help prevent different actions on whatever the case may be. When the prisoner’s finish up their time in prison, they may have the option to vote again depending on their state because different states have different orders.

Even though states have certain rules about prisoners voting, there are actually two states that still require prisoners to vote. The two states are Maine and Vermont. The reason why they have prisoners vote is because they are not counted as residents of the town that houses prisons. This means that their votes can’t sway local elections if they decide to vote as a bloc. But as of right now the voting remains high at the moment for both external and internal. As we all know they will continue to have problems within the prison. Prisoners not only have to deal with that but also with the stress of what goes behind the wall of bars. For example, prison violence which comes between conflict, power and victimization.

When we think of prison violence, we think that it’s scary and that prisoners have the right to do violence behind bars. But think again, they don’t they have to follow certain proceeding if not they will get in trouble from whom ever is on duty. In the field of prison violence, the people on duty try to provide safety for the communities as they would for criminals that are convicted. Yes, they may need little more attention because of their case but never take your eye off of them because you never know what could happen. There is danger no matter where you may be, if you don’t handle it proper it can get out of control and cause more problems for that person. Another reason why this violence occur is because the overcrowding, gangs and prisoner’s make-up. It messes with people minds and emotions whether it be a female or male. Just because they are prisoners doesn’t mean that person doesn’t have rights. They still have some rights that they can use if they need it to use it. It may not be much to them, but it helps them in certain situation.

Another right that a prisoner has is knowing what charges they have against them. Before even sentencing the person; they have to know their rights and what can be use against them. If they don’t give them the benefit of doubt, then things can get crazy and they would be breaking the fifth and fourteenth amendment. This supposed to guarantee them due process. Even though prisoners have certain rights they still have to follow up on their agenda making sure they don’t violate their probation or whatever the court issues them. During court the person is given certain options either not guilty “no contest” or guilty. If they plague guilty or no contest the person given up certain rights and no longer can get them after that cases is close. It will remain like this till further notice from the judge.

The next one, should prisoners be able to have health or health care while doing time in prison. Why or why not? As of right now there are 2.3 million U.S. inmates that rely on it. They have the constitutional right under the eight amendment, which covers under “cruel and unusual punishment.” The reason why inmates need health care is because there are many prisoners who come into the prison and have many problems. Examples is that they have high rate of chronic medical conditions, viral infections, substance abuse and metal illness. These medical conditions are common in prisoners who get sentence to prison. However, inmates go through examination to check what’s wrong with them before they get admitted into their cell. It’s important to check on each person because you never know what they have.

Some people say why should inmates have better care or why should they get care at all. I know it’s hard to see this but just think if they have some kind of viral at least they are trying to prevent it from spreading because you don’t want it to come back on whoever is around that certain person. If your family member was to work in a place where inmates have some kind of infection that’s bad wouldn’t you want to make sure that they are preventing that infection, so people won’t get infected. I know it sucks but its better safe than sorry. Step back for a second and look at the picture if prisoners were to finish up their time in prison, they would return back to society within a few years, wouldn’t you want them cleanup and good. In reality we all need to protect ourselves from risks whether it be in prison or out in the world.

Now let’s talk about education, should prisoners have rights to education. Some say no and some say yes, maybe it could be between the two, because it’s really up to the person to decide if they want to learn or not. Prison is a place where people serve time and realize that the crime, they committed has consequences. However, prisoners who serve time usually make a mistake in life. They either regret it or wish they have another chance. Well, depending on their crime, maybe they can better themselves by taking action and educating themselves to be better. They have to have a reason not to give up, prepare them to do better after they serve their time. If not, then they will get out and end up doing the same thing again. Education opportunity will reduce crime and better the person, it can be a gateway to social and economic mobility. Although we push for this to happen, March 2, 2018, they denied a portion of 2.3 million individuals in the United States.

Researcher suggest that if they plan to invest in the prison education program’s they would require the funding upfront. This would also help put money back into consumers pockets. Example is like Missouri, they saved about an average of 25,000 per year for every individual that are incarcerated. Education rights will help open doors and restore the person individual’s self-esteem and social competence. It may not restore what happen before, but it can help reduce them from committing the same crime again. As a once man said “Education is the great equalizer” by Horace Mann.

My thoughts on the whole prison rights are ups and downs about it, because I feel that yes, they should and no they don’t. The reason I feel yes is because everyone has a story to tell. We can’t listen to just one side of the person. People make mistake in life; they should be able to fight that. But depending on their case, because if someone was to kill their whole family just because their mad. I think that a person deserves to be in prison for life maybe death penalty to. Prisons should be a place for correcting and constructing wrong behavior and making inmates better for society if they can do it. There is a lot that goes on in the prison, we all know that, but rules have to be followed during the process of getting into the system if they are not followed inmates my get into trouble. There are many things that inmates have rights to that I haven’t mention yet, like having clothing, food, shelter. They have rights to their privacy under the law that they have to follow.

As I mention before convicted felonies usually lose rights such as voting, traveling to certain places, the right to bear arms and jury service etc. That’s why if a person decided to do something bad, they should think again because you lose a lot. Some major issues that prison face today is overcrowding, mental health care, and privatization. Sometimes I wonder how prisoners deal with the overload in the cell. I could only imagine how much people can be in one prison. They need to build more prisons that have more space, so inmates won’t feel so tight in that one room.

I know how I get when I’m in a small room and it feel so small and I can’t think straight. People who get anxiety because of space and just having to many people around. I would recommend to the people or law whoever is in charge that when sentencing someone they should look into it more and sentence certain people for less sentence like for drugs. I feel maybe that can drop the sentencing on certain extend because that is one of the biggest crimes in today society like I mention before. Like make them learn from their mistakes but not take advantage of the situation at the same time.

We are all human being yes; we all make mistake but should be punish for certain things that can be fix or should be just make everyone pay even if it wasn’t that serious. I see couple of problems that don’t need to be taken wrong, but they do anyways. They need to find some kind of separation than the rest of the people from the criminal ones. But one saying always sticks with me through my own life and still to this day, “ If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime “ this sticks with me where ever I go and I tend to keep it that way and teach my kids the same. I also recommend that to other people who think they can cheat the system or do whatever they feel like doing. It’s not worth it, just go by the rules and they won’t have a problem.


  1. Behan, C. (2014). Citizen Convicts : Prisoners, Politics and the Vote. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Retrieved from,shib&db=nlebk&AN=1466979&site=eds-live&scope=site
  2. Bender, K. (2018, November 30). Education Opportunities in Prison Are Key to Reducing Crime. Retrieved from
  3. Clegg, R. (n.d.). There Are Good Reasons for Felons to Lose the Right to Vote. Retrieved from
  4. Fuller, C. (2003). The U.S. Prison System. Daily Prison Life, 9. Retrieved from,shib&db=ndh&AN=9195719&site=eds-live&scope=site
  5. Lewis, N. (2019, June 11). In just two states, all prisoners can vote. Here's why few do. Retrieved from
  6. Potyondy, P. (n.d.). Retrieved from One.
  7. Wilper, A. P., Woolhandler, S., Boyd, J. W., Lasser, K. E., McCormick, D., Bor, D. H., & Himmelstein, D. U. (2009). The Health and Health Care of US Prisoners: Results of a Nationwide Survey. American Journal of Public Health, 99(4), 666–672.
07 July 2022
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