Rikers Island Misconduct
Valley Stream Rikers Island Misconduct Attorneys
Representing Victims of Corrections Officer Brutality in Nassau County
Rikers Island houses a jail complex and mental institution and is located between Queens and The Bronx. The Rikers Island jail is the second-largest jail facility in the United States, but many recent scandals have marred its reputation. Correctional officers have used excessive force and caused prisoners severe injuries, including collapsed lungs, broken bones, spinal fractures, perforated eardrums, eye injuries, and even death.
At Nass Roper & Levin, PC, our legal team has a proven track record of litigating on behalf of New York City prison inmates who have suffered abuse at the hands of corrections officers. Our Valley Stream Rikers Island misconduct lawyers have over 45 years of collective experience and understand how to strategically approach these cases. We are community-oriented and understand what is at stake, which is why you will have direct access to our attorneys from beginning to end. No matter your circumstances, we will diligently fight to enforce your rights in and out of the courtroom.
If you or someone you love has been subject to unlawful treatment while incarcerated on Rikers Island, do not hesitate to call (516) 774-4224 or contact us online.
What Are the Constitutional Rights of a Prisoner at Rikers Island?
While full constitutional rights are limited in scope for prisoners, many important rules do still apply. You should take the time to understand these rights if you or someone you know has been imprisoned in any jail or prison facility. If you are not sure whether you have a case, our Valley Stream Rikers Island misconduct attorneys can review your situation and walk you through your legal options.
As a prisoner on Rikers Island, your rights include:
- A minimum standard of living. Because the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment applies to prisoners, facilities must afford occupants an adequate standard of living. For example, an overcrowded jail might not meet the minimum standard required by the Constitution.
- Protection against excessive force. Similarly, the Eighth Amendment forbids the use of excessive force against prisoners. Instances of unjustifiable brutality generally violate the Eighth Amendment.
- Protection against discrimination. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and creed. Prison inmates also enjoy First Amendment protections and are protected from discriminatory treatment because of their disability or religion. This means disabled prison inmates cannot be denied reasonable accommodations, such as necessary medical devices and interpreters. Religious inmates are in most cases able to exercise their beliefs unless prison officials can show a “compelling” reason why their beliefs cannot be accommodated. Inmates also cannot be forced to participate in religious activities they do not believe in. For example, a nonreligious person cannot be forced to pray.
- Pregnancy-related healthcare, including abortion. As a pregnant inmate, you have the right to an abortion (or to decline an abortion) assuming the procedure is otherwise legal under state law. You have the right to pregnancy and post-pregnancy medical care. You cannot be forced to take birth control medication or anything that influences your ability to become pregnant.
- The ability to send and receive mail. The First Amendment generally allows prisoners to send and receive mail within certain restrictions. Non-privileged mail, such as communications from your friends and family, is not private and can be censored for security reasons. Prison officials cannot censor incoming or outgoing mail because they do not like its contents. Privileged mail, such as communications from your legal representation, is private and can only be reviewed if there is probable cause or a warrant.
Rikers Island has an unfortunate history of civil rights abuses. In 2015, after receiving numerous police brutality allegations and other complaints, the Justice Department intervened and reached a consent settlement with the Department of Corrections that included over 300 provisions the facility was required to implement. Examples of these new provisions include additional staff training, more security cameras, and more significant disciplinary action for correctional officers who use excessive force.
Even with increased public attention and more stringent requirements, New York corrections officers still violate the civil rights of prisoners. Our Valley Stream Rikers Island misconduct lawyers are committed to putting a stop to these abuses by fighting for our clients in court.
When Correctional Officers Violate Your Civil Rights, We Are Here to Help
If you or a family member are incarcerated in the Rikers Island jail or mental health facility, you deserve capable legal representation when your rights are abused. Our compassionate team at Nass Roper & Levin, PC can help you take legal action and recover just compensation.
Contact us online or call (516) 774-4224 to schedule an initial consultation.
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