Jail Beatings

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Yet, as Chicago civil rights attorneys and Illinois jail inmates know, many inmates suffer from jail beatings at the hands of jail employees and other inmates.

In some jails here in Illinois and across the country there seems to be a culture that permits the physical abuse of jail inmates. The motives for the beatings vary and may include a feeling of superiority on the part of the attacker, an erroneous sense of “justice” where the attacker believes that the inmate should be beaten because of the crimes he committed, or a perverted sense of sport on the part of the attacker.

Inmates Have a Constitutional Right to Not be Physically Abused in Jail

It is not the responsibility of an inmate to determine motive. An inmate has the right to live in jail without the fear of being physically attacked.

Inmates and their relatives should know that, while an inmate gives up certain rights when he or she receives a jail sentence, the jail also has certain responsibilities to safeguard the welfare of the inmate. Inmates have the right to live in humane conditions and to be free from physical and sexual abuse. It is the responsibility of jail employees to make sure that inmates are not physically attacked by other inmates or by any employee of the facility.

It may seem difficult to request relief for the beating of a jail inmate. The inmates may fear retaliation and even more severe beatings if they complain to jail officials. They may fear that jail officials will not want to deal with conflicts between inmates, and that officials will instinctively protect or believe jail employees rather than jail inmates.

For these reasons, it is particularly important that jail inmates who have suffered a physical jail beating, or their surviving family members, contact experienced Illinois civil rights attorneys who can provide them with a strong voice and a solid argument against the well-established jail system.

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