The Inmate’s Rights: Key Issues


Inmate’s rights can also be referred to as prisoner’s rights and are the extent and nature of privileges set to persons in confinement or custody. An inmate is a person who has underprivileged personal freedom against their will after conviction of a crime. The freedom limitation is done against their will since they have been sentenced due to performing an illegal act. Inmates are not accorded all the rights as free citizens but are assured minimal rights by the constitution and community moral standards. As any other free citizen, inmates have rights entitled to them while detained, including the right to own religion and visitation rights, though they are minimal compared to other citizens’ liberties.

Visitation Rights

The law recognizes the significance of visitations to the inmate because it helps in the ultimate transition back to the civic by keeping the person in touch with society. Though prisoners have visitation rights, they are not privileged to enjoy contact visits, but they can communicate with the visitor through a particular channel, for example, by using a telephone (Gunderson, 2021). Courts have set restrictions regarding visitations which are reasonable and relate strictly to security purposes and good order.

Right to Own Religion

Prisoners are allowed to practice their religion without limitations and keep or obtain any written religious materials. They are also entitled to communicate or see a spiritual leader and obey their religious rules without endangering security and order in prison. Formal religious performances for convicts are allowed frequently, and religious programs are accessed on television and radio broadcasts (Gunderson, 2021). Individuals detained in a particular jail may have different religions; hence, they must be treated equally.


Prisoners have unequal rights with free citizens because they are detained after doing a particular illegal act. Being imprisoned does not deny an individual from being granted certain rights, though there might be some limitations. The rights of an incarcerated person help them feel like being part of society regardless of them being convicted. Some of the privileges like having visitation rights and the right to own religion while still in prison make an individual feel like a normal life continuation, though in a limited space.


Gunderson, A. (2021). Ideology, disadvantage, and federal district court inmate civil rights filings: The troubling effects of pro se status. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 18(3), 603-628.

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DemoEssays. "The Inmate’s Rights: Key Issues." October 16, 2022.