• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Human rights and civil liberties in prisons. Should a prisoner have rights?

Extracts from this document...


Human Rights and Civil Liberties Law 112 Assignment Two ~ Table of Cases * Hirst v United Kingdom (No.2)[2004]ECHR 122 * R v Hull Prison Board of Visitors, ex parte St Germain [1979] 1 QB 425 * R v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte leech [1994] QB, [1993] 4 ALL ER 539, CA * Raymond v Honey [1983] 1 AC 1, [1982] 1 ALL ER 756, HL Table of Statutes * Human Rights Act 1998 Elizabeth II HMSO * The Representation of the People Act 2000 Elizabeth II HMSO section 3 Should a prisoner have rights? Well to answer this question we must first identify what a right is. A right can be defined as a power or privilege to which one is justly entitled or it can be described as something that is due to a person by law, tradition or nature1. In addition to this human rights are described as those rights that are regarded as fundamental or basic to an individual2. The next step to answering this question is to identify what human rights are guaranteed to every member of society. To do this we must look to the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the Human Rights Act 19983. The European Convention on Human Rights was drafted due to the violence of the Second World War in order to remind member states of the heritage of political traditions and ideals, but most importantly to enforce certain rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 19484. ...read more.


Now it has been established which rights prisoners retain and which they lose, the next question to answer is whether or not prisoners should retain these absolute rights, have all rights limited or lose their rights altogether. Many people may ask why prisoners should have any rights at all, many even believe they already have too many26. There are also people who, yes, believe prisoners deserve their basic rights but at the same time also believe that these rights should be restricted and limited27. However there are some people who believe that prisoners are susceptible to human rights abuses and require their basic rights in order to protect them28. The first argument against granting prisoners rights is that when someone violates another human beings right, they themselves should forfeit their right to equal and fair treatment and thus lose their basic human rights29. In addition to this is can be said that by granting prisoners rights it will not teach them what they have done wrong and allow them to learn from their mistakes. This would then encourage prisoners not to re-offend as they are not treated fairly. Also when someone has shown little regard for the rights of their victim(s), imprisonment is their punishment and they should not be allowed to benefit from luxuries such as televisions or have access to a gym which many law abiding citizens cannot have30. ...read more.


As a final point 'Because of their incarceration, and the lack of public and political sympathy, prisoners can be classified as a 'vulnerable' group, particularly susceptible to human rights abuses. On the other hand, there will be a number of reasons why prisoners should not have rights, or, more feasibly, why their rights should be restricted'55. So should a prisoner have rights? Well to answer this question I have looked at which rights prisoners lose and which they retain upon imprisonment. I have then looked at the arguments both for and against prisoners retaining their rights. There are many arguments on both sides however I personally believe that prisoners should have rights so far as they go in order to assist the convicted prisoner to rehabilitate themselves and to lead a law abiding life upon release. I therefore do not agree that prisoners should be receiving benefits such as opportunities to study for a degree when so many people who have not committed any offence cannot afford to take part in, after all these prisoners have broken the law so why should the law then protect these people? However the European Convention on Human Rights has guaranteed to every human being the 16 basic rights stated in the Human Rights Act 199856 and only removes the right to liberty contained in Article 5 from prisoners. This debate on whether or not a prisoner should forfeit his rights still remains open but only to personal opinion. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Criminology essays

  1. As prison populations rise to unprecedented levels, to what extent can it be argued ...

    The higher the risk category into which an offender is placed, the longer their sentence. It is not proposed that prison should effect a change in a prisoner's life nor have any rehabilitative function. Rather, the new penology views prison as a "social management instrument???

  2. Critically Analyse Imprisonment as a means of Punishment.

    As the prison population continues to rise, the amount of staff are not supplied to fulfil the growth. It is also due to the economic situation of the prisons as the budgets that are set are not stretching to pay the staff sufficiently and is not big enough to employ too much more.

  1. Anthropology and its Uses in Single Body and Mass Fatality Cases

    the order in which anthropologists profile victims: race, sex, age and stature. Anthropologists profile victims in because in order to know the sex of a victim, they must know the race (as there are sexual differences in each race), and in order to know the age, the sex must be known, and so forth.

  2. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the accuracy of the difference between ...

    These things cannot be calculated precisely. Financial losses are known as pecuniary losses, these losses are generally easier to estimate. Non pecuniary losses are harder to judge as they are for things like loss of ordinary pleasures and enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.

  1. Is the increased use of electronically monitored home detention (EMHD) as recently confirmed in ...

    However, there is a lack of convincing evidence (Bonta et al., 2001; Bonta, 1999; Sugg et al., 2001; Mortimer, 2001; Padel 2004/05). EM is mainly used in combination with curfew-orders (CO), which demands that the offender remains at a place specified by the court for certain periods of time (Taylor et al., 2005).

  2. Imprisonment should only be used as a last resort due to its long-term negative ...

    The detrimental effects of ?total institutions? date back to the critical assessment of Goffman?s (1961) Asylums; although ?institutional neurosis? has been studied in the United Kingdom by Barton (1966). Both identified similar negative effects including ?loss of contact with the outside world; enforced idleness; loss of responsibility, possession and friends? (Barton, 1966: pp63).

  1. Describe the legislation that promotes the protection of children.

    should only be as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible time ??in the UK Children as young as 10 can be locked up for up to 24 months and be charged with grave offences, before the Act the only grave offence children under the age of 14 could be charged was murder .

  2. Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield. Since being convicted of his crimes, Ed ...

    One of his first acts was to board off his mother's room to preserve it in the perfect condition it was left. With no one to tell him what to do he let the acres of his farm overgrow, die and rot away.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work