Prison Isn’t for the Faint of Heart - Prisoner Abuse Is a Real Thing

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

A recent story reports the firing of a Pennsylvania prison guard for slapping an inmate unprovoked and then trying to cover it up. State law supported the guard's firing. Pennsylvania statute prohibits guards from using force other than to protect against bodily harm, property damage or destruction, criminal acts, or rule violations, and only when peaceful methods don't work. Guards can't use force just because an inmate offends them. After a prison video outed the guilty guard, a district court judge also found the guard guilty of harassment and fined him $100 plus court costs.

The story illustrates, far too gently, that prison isn't for the faint-hearted. Prisoner abuse is a genuine and substantial risk, and can be far worse than a mere slap in the face. If you or a loved one faces any prospect of jail or prison for Pennsylvania criminal charge, then don't run the risk of incarceration and abuse. Retain the premier criminal-defense representation of an attorney from LLF Law Firm.  The best way to avoid jail or prison abuse is to beat the criminal charge.

Prisoners Have Rights

Prisoners do have rights. The Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Federal courts have interpreted that prohibition to mean that prison guards must not use more force than necessary to properly restrain prisoners. Wall shackles, hosings, canings, and other abusive punishments are out. They may still happen, but prisoners who can prove their happening can get restraining orders and damages in a Section 1983 action.

The federal courts have also interpreted the Eighth Amendment to require at least minimal air circulation, subsistence food and water, and survivable temperatures rather than suffocating heat or debilitating cold. Guards are also supposed not to be deliberately indifferent to known serious medical needs, although prison medical care can be notoriously spare, especially for inmates with serious chronic conditions like diabetes or circulatory or respiratory disease.

The Best Offense Is a Good Defense

Having rights against prison abuse, though, doesn't prevent abuses. Rights just give you remedies, if you're able to prove them. The best way for a person charged with a serious crime to prevent prisoner abuse isn't to sue the guilty guards after abuse happens. It's too late then to prevent the abuse. The best way to prevent prisoner abuse is to beat the criminal charge. The best offense is a good defense. Avoid jail or prison, and you'll avoid prisoner abuse and all the other loss, suffering, and hardship that incarceration entails.

Retain the Best Available Defense Counsel

Don't sugar-coat jail or prison. Incarceration is far harder than most people think. If you or a loved one faces criminal charges in the Philadelphia area, running the risk of prison or jail, then promptly retain the premier representation of LLF Law Firm. Call the LLF Law Firm now at 888-535-3686 or go online to learn more.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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