New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What does the law consider excessive force while incarcerated?

On Behalf of | Wednesday Dec 30, 2020 | Civil Rights

A person serving a prison sentence has the right to do so in humane conditions and free from abuse. However, in New York prisons, this is not always the case. Instances of physical force throughout the prison system seem to rise over the years.

Excessive force is a term many are familiar with when it comes to police misconduct. It also refers to the unnecessary physical force exerted upon anyone held in a prison or jail. Discover some examples of excessive force and what may result if not stopped.

What makes the force appropriate?

Controlling the movements and behavior of prisoners and detainees is crucial to keeping order inside prisons and jails. When a prisoner becomes the victim of too much force, the authorities must investigate whether the type and degree of force were appropriate. For instance, guards should not need to use much physical contact on prisoners watching from the sidelines if there is a fight. If a bystander winds up with injuries consistent with excessive force, investigators may find it inappropriate.

What if intervention does not occur?

The suicide rate in New York prisons is fairly high, and some of that is due to the abuse some of these prisoners endure at the hands of guards. Excessive force is one facet of prisoner abuse that may lead to suicide. Medical issues that develop as a direct result of physical force may become life-threatening if left untreated.

When a prisoner faces excessive force while behind bars, intimidation may stop him or her from reporting it. However, if not stopped, the prisoner may wind up dead.