Rights and Privileges Inmates Have (and Lose)
As a past correctional officer in California I thought it would be important for people to know about some of the rights and privileges their loved one have and lose when incarcerated.
When someone is incarcerated, they will give up many of their freedoms that they enjoyed before going to prison such as:
- Using the restroom in private
- Being able to eat when you want to
- Being able to have the right to choose who you will live with
- Being able to pull blankets over your head when you’re sleeping
- Being able to know certain procedures and/or policies regarding the protocol of the prison system
When I was there, some of the privileges that inmates enjoyed in a California prison system were the right to receive packages from loved ones. These packages came in through the prison Receiving and Releasing section of the prison, which was inspected for contraband by correctional officers that are trained to know what inmates can and cannot have. This was a privilege given to all inmates within the prison system. As a matter of fact, there were programs set up for prisoners to receive packages through groups that put together “care packages.” Lifers were not allowed store privileges, but could receive packages.
Inmates were allowed to have televisions in their cells that had to meet certain guidelines. It had to a certain size and was checked in R&R for contraband before it was given to the inmate. When inmates were ready to be released from prison, they could give their televisions to another inmate, but it had to go through the proper channels and the proper paperwork had to be completed. If an inmate was in possession of another inmate’s television without completing the proper paperwork, it was considered theft and would be taken from that inmate. The inmate would also receive a 115 (code) for being in possession of someone else’s property without authorization.
It was up to officers to provide protection for inmates from other inmates that could pose a danger to them. The problem with providing protection for these inmates was that they had to come to the officer and tell them that they are seeking PC* status, e.g., they needed protective custody and were requesting to be taken out of general population and were seeking a private cell away from other inmate(s) because they were in fear of their life.
*PC – Protective Custody