Individuals who are serving prison sentences are often the most forgotten members of society, however, a wise man once said that the civility of a society can be measured by the way the society treats its prisoners. If that is true, it is clear that the United States is failing by every measure. For years, the abuses and constitutional violations suffered by inmates has been well documented. In New York alone, stories of State and local facilities flood the headlines. From prison guards who are trading sexual favors for prison benefits to the infamous “fight club” at Rikers Island, the conduct that has been tolerated in New York prisons is nothing short of alarming.
Apart from the most infamous examples of prisoner abuses, there are the singular abuses suffered everyday by inmates. Prison conditions range from bad to worse and inmates are frequently denied basic necessities, are allowed to live in deplorable conditions and receive substandard medical treatment or none at all. Most often though, prison guards frequently subject inmates to brutality and physical violence under the guise of “maintaining order.” These violent episodes can come in the form of attacks from the guards themselves with incidents of choking, punching, stomping, chemical agents, tasing, using riot batons and even sexual abuse.