Prison and Prisoners’ Rights

A prison is a building used to keep convicted criminals under confinement as punishment for crimes committed. Prison terms are used for felony crimes, while punishment for lesser crimes are usually shorter sentences confined to buildings such as a jail, detention center or something similar. Jails may also hold people accused of crimes who are awaiting trial. Pretrial detainees as well as convicted criminals have the same rights as prisoners. These include freedom of speech and religion, freedom from discrimination based on race, and to due process of law before additional deprivation of life, liberty or property. Prisoners and pretrial detainees also have the rights to sanitary conditions, freedom from constant loud noise, to nutritious food, to reading materials, and freedom from constant physical restraint. However, these rights may be stripped if they threaten security in the prison or jail.

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