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How bad are United States prisons anyway?

If you're hoping to maintain your sense of human dignity and your human rights, a United States prison is not the place where you want to be. Indeed, sadistic abuse and malicious violence are not uncommon in our nation's prison system.

Reports and lawsuits have been made regarding inmates in U.S. prisons who were struck and beaten with batons. Some were hit with fists, shot, kicked, stunned, choked, sprayed with chemicals and had their heads smashed against the floor. These prisoners often suffered from broken ribs, broken jaws, missing teeth, scars from burns, emotional pain, psychological trauma and more. Some inmates even suffered fatal injuries as a result of the abuse.

Prisoners are also subjected to rape -- both men and women, but with women, it's especially common. It's not uncommon for correctional officers to require inmates to give them sexual favors in exchange for bribes or violent coercion. Prison guards have also ignored the requests of prisoners for protection from rape and other forms of sexual assault.

Unfortunately, the absence of good leadership and good discipline can turn prisons into areas where serious abuses can occur and go unnoticed for years. Prisoners who have suffered serious problems and continue to suffer from serious problems frequently do not get the support and assistance that are their right to receive.

If you know a prisoner who is currently being seriously abused -- or if you are being abused as a prisoner -- know that you have rights and you can seek protection from abuse with the help of an experienced attorney.

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Sivin & Miller, LLP Attorneys at Law
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