Criminal Law

An offender was sentenced for two years for his third grand theft, and was moved to a state prison. During his second week, he was subjected to abuse and humiliation—hazing—from some other prisoners. This treatment continued unchecked, so he informed prison guards on two separate occasions of the abuse during his third week. The prison guards ignored his complaints because they did not want to upset the customary prison ritual of older prisoners scaring the new ones. The guards assumed that he would eventually fit into the prison culture.

However, his complaints led to him being beaten up by other prisoners. He pleaded with a prison guard to transfer him to another wing in the prison because of the continued abuse he was receiving. The authorities denied his request. He was ultimately raped and beaten repeatedly by several prisoners over a span of two weeks before being transferred. He also contracted two sexually transmitted diseases during the assaults. Subsequently, he brought a suit against the state for cruel and unusual punishment.

Conduct research about prisoners’ rights, conditions of the incarcerated, and prisoner abuse. Using Microsoft Word, submit an analysis of the case that answers the questions listed below.

Use case law to support your answers.

Explain the conditions under which prisoners have a right to sue the state based on violations of their constitutional rights. Specify the constitutional rights granted to prisoners. In which conditions are these rights denied?
Describe the concept of “legitimate penological objectives” and how it figures into inmate lawsuits.
Did the prison officials show “deliberate indifference” to the prisoner in this scenario under Wilson v. Seiter (1991)? If yes, can the prison guards be held responsible individually for the harm caused to the prisoner due to their indifference? Explain. If no, why?
Could the victim win a lawsuit against the state by seeking protection under the Eighth Amendment? Use the case law of Farmer v. Brennan (1994) to frame your response.