A Prisoner in Handcuffs in a Wisconsin Facility

People who are convicted of crimes lose certain rights when they are sentenced to prison. However, there are some rights that no one—not even prisoners—should lose.

Once the government takes a person into custody, the government becomes responsible for a person’s health and safety. If prison abuse or neglect results in an injury, then the inmate who was hurt has a legal right to seek financial damages.

What Is Prison Abuse?

Some police officers, correctional officers, and other prison workers intentionally cause harm to people in police custody. When this happens, prisoners may be seriously hurt. Some examples of prison abuse include:

  • Intentionally hitting, attacking, or otherwise hurting a prisoner
  • Using more force than necessary to control a prisoner who is a threat to himself, other prisoners, visitors, police officers, or jail workers
  • Creating a hostile environment through verbal threats, racial slurs, or other offensive and unnecessary language
  • Sexual assault

Prison abuse should never happen. Everyone in police custody, whether recently arrested or serving a long sentence, has the right to live without fear of a prison abuse injury.

What Is Prison Neglect?

All prisoners also have the right to live without fear of prison neglect. Prisoners are dependent on the government for things such as food and healthcare. When police officers, corrections officers, or other prison workers fail to act or act with reckless disregard for a prisoner’s health or safety, then prison neglect may occur. Some examples of prison neglect include:

  • Failing to provide medical care when prison staff know, or should reasonably know, that medical care is needed
  • Failing to provide mental health care when prison staff know, or should know, that mental health care is needed
  • Forcing prisoners to be in unreasonable and unsafe conditions that could cause harm—such as cells that are significantly too cold, too hot, or too damp
  • Forcing prisoners to go without a reasonable amount of sleep, food, or water
  • Failing to protect prisoners from the abuse of other prisoners that prison staff know, or should know, could cause harm

The injuries caused by prison neglect can be just as serious as the injuries caused by intentional abuse.

Protect Your Rights If You’re Hurt in a Wisconsin Jail

Prison abuse or neglect can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and even death. An injured prisoner or the family members of a prisoner who died have the legal right to seek financial compensation. However, this can be hard to do for a few reasons:

  • The prison may have the evidence that you need to prove your case
  • Prison workers may cover for one another
  • There is often a presumption that the prison workers are more trustworthy than the prisoners

While these factors can make a prison abuse or neglect case challenging, it is possible to recover fair compensation for injuries sustained in Wisconsin prison abuse or neglect incidents. Our Wisconsin police brutality lawyers have secured the largest police brutality settlement in Wisconsin history. We fought hard, gathered all of the necessary evidence, and refused to settle our client’s case for less than what it was worth after the police used unnecessary force that resulted in our client’s quadriplegia.

Our past police brutality successes are no guarantee of the success in any future case, but we will use our experience to gather the right evidence and to make convincing arguments. We won’t settle a police brutality case until our client receives fair compensation for all:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering

In some cases, punitive damages that are designed to punish the prison or police may also be part of a fair recovery.

Don’t handle your prison abuse or neglect case alone. Instead, contact our experienced Wisconsin police brutality lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can learn more about your rights and decide what to do next. Your time to file a lawsuit and pursue damages is limited by Wisconsin law, so call us or start a live chat with us now to get started.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham