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Right to Rehabilitation Programs, Right to Medical Aid, and Right to Life-10

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/b978-1-59345-503-3.50013-4
  • Criminology
  • Law
  • Medicine


Publisher Summary This chapter focuses on four fact situations that are faced less frequently by the judiciary but are of importance to both prisoners and prison administrators. The four areas are (1) a prisoner's right to rehabilitation programs that include judicial decisions, analogy of right to treatment in other areas, and the administrative review, (2) a prisoner's right to medical aid that include the violation and no violation, (3) the death row prisoner's right to life as enunciated by Supreme Court cases concerning the use of death as a criminal penalty, and (4) a prisoner's civil disabilities. Rehabilitation of prisoners is considered essential by virtually all penologists if incarceration is to reduce the incidence of crime. Courts have repeatedly stated that prisoners have no constitutional right to rehabilitative treatment. Penologists argue that effective rehabilitation programs are the key to success from any correctional system. Judicial concern for penal reform coupled with the fact that many state statutes and constitutions specifically make rehabilitation an objective of incarceration raise the probability that treatment programs may soon be judicially required in penal facilities. Judicial intervention in medical treatment cases has increased markedly in recent years. Unfortunately, federal courts are divided as to when a complaint alleging inadequate medical treatment is sufficient to state a cause of action for deprivation of a federal right. The Supreme Court has not yet rendered a decision clarifying the law in this area. Litigation in the area of the civil disabilities of convicted felons—both incarcerated and released—will continue to increase as the revolution in prison law follows the prisoner beyond the prison wall.

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