The Conditional Rights of Prisoners
Many argue that prisoners should not have any rights at all while incarcerated in the jails and prisons throughout the country. Felons are still not able to have certain rights after being released from prison. The fact that prisoners have even conditional rights upsets law abiding citizens in the United States. Three conditional rights that prisoners have in this country are the right to hold religious services, to peacefully assemble, and the right to not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment.
Given that prisoners are stripped of some rights when incarcerated into the prison systems, they are able to retain some. Being able to hold religious services for inmates is one of those rights. Some might argue that it is more essential from the prisoners to have the option of going, but it also helps the prison maintain order. Prisons can be very tense places where a riot could happen in a matter of seconds. Religious ceremonies bring peace to the inmates that are in them. I would like to think that prison guards would rather inmates be in a religious service than causing trouble out on “the yard”.
Prisoners are allowed to peacefully assemble during periods that their prisons deem appropriate. Prisoners gathering has the potential to start violence, but they are at least allowed to in some ways. Whether the gathering results in a prison riot or not, prisoners should be allowed to assemble to talk about how they are doing.
It is a fact that guards in prisons have mistreated the people that they are required to watch. Prisoners are still not subject to cruel and unusual punishment despite being stripped of some rights. They are still often mistreated, but there is a grievance process for prisoners against the guards so that they are still humanely treated.