People who have been incarcerated are unable to seek medical care on their own. As a result, it is the responsibility and legal requirement of prison staff members to provide adequate inmate medical care. When they fail to do so, those prison officers are violating an inmate’s civil rights, not to mention breaking the law.
The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that cruel and unusual punishment should never be inflicted on any person. A 1976 case titled Estelle v. Gamble noted that a prison inmate “… must rely on prison authorities to treat his medical needs; if the authorities fail to do so, those needs will not be met. In the worst cases, such a failure may actually produce physical torture or a lingering death.”
What is Deliberate Indifference?
The same case determined that according to the Eighth Amendment, prison personnel’s “deliberate indifference” to a prisoner’s serious illness or injury constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Deliberate indifference refers to an official’s reckless disregard of the substantial risk of harm to the prisoner despite knowing about the risk and the need to take reasonable steps to remove that risk.
Prison inmates could sustain permanent or fatal harm if:
- They do not receive treatment for physical injuries, diseases or conditions
- A health care professional does not administer appropriate medication
- They are suffering from mental illness and do not receive the needed care
Sadly, poor access to care is rampant among the country’s inmate population. A study by the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School found more than 20 percent of sick inmates in state prisons and nearly 14 percent in federal prisons had not seen a health care professional since they were incarcerated. For jail inmates with persistent medical problems, more than 68 percent of had the same issue.
Failing to provide adequate inmate medical care is a civil rights violation and should be addressed immediately. For decades, the lawyers at Gay & Chacker have been successfully fighting for people who did not receive adequate inmate medical care and were left to suffer the consequences.
Leaving prison inmates sick, injured, or in pain is appalling and unacceptable. We’re committed to being the voice for those who have been wronged.
Get Legal Help If You Did Not Receive Inmate Medical Care
If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a lack of inmate medical care, we can help. Contact our experienced attorneys to learn more about how we help prison inmates who have been violated. During a free consultation, we’ll discuss how to move forward with obtaining justice and compensation.