New York City Inmate Abuse Attorney

Inmate abuse in U.S. prisons is so egregious and so rampant that international human rights organizations have called upon the country to address the problem, which is unprecedented for a developed Western nation. Although prisoner abuse is known to take place in a number of Third World countries, the developed world, for the most part, has moved to a higher standard of respect for human dignity. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned the American prison system. If you have encountered civil rights violations by prison staff, don’t hesitate to speak to a New York City inmate abuse attorney about your case.

Amnesty International characterized the U.S. prison system in a report as having “a persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations, with “cruel, degrading, and sometimes life-threatening methods of restraint . . . a feature of the U.S. criminal justice system.” An example: one woman incarcerated in Riker’s Island was forced to give birth while kept in shackles.

Human Rights Watch has reported that brutality and degrading treatment of inmates by prison staff occurs in prisons throughout the United States on a regular basis, with inmates being severely beaten, choked, stomped, stunned with Tasers, sprayed with chemicals, and thrown face-first onto hard concrete floors. Physical injuries commonly include:

  • Broken jaws
  • Broken ribs
  • Broken teeth
  • Perforated eardrums
  • Burns
  • STDs, including HIV
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Psychological damage, including “Rape Trauma Syndrome”
  • Death

Cruel and unusual punishment is expressly prohibited by the United States Constitution and various international human rights treaties to which the United States is a state party.

Rape and Sexual Abuse in U.S. Prisons

New York City inmate abuse attorney Jon Norinsberg knows both male and female inmates all too often become victims of sexual abuse and rape in prison—both by prison staff and by other prisoners, resulting in the spread of STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Guards and other prison officials have been known to coerce or physically force both female and male inmates to perform sexual acts on them, and frequently refuse to protect male inmates from being rape by other prisoners. The psychological effects that persist years after the abuse may be even more damaging than the physical injuries that are so common.

The United States Leads the World in the Size of its Prison Population

The U.S. prison population per capita far and away exceeds that of any other Western nation. No other developed country incarcerates so many of its citizens as the United States. One out of every 140 people in the United States is serving a prison sentence, so an enormous number of people in this country experience abuse and indignity that they are helpless to resist. Some of these prisoners are not even convicted criminals, but refugees held in the same detention facilities as criminals while they are applying for asylum.

Who Are the Perpetrators and Victims of Violence and Sexual Abuse in U.S. Prisons?

Where, by whom, and how frequently does prisoner abuse occur? It takes place in nearly every prison in the country, to varying degrees. Here are some facts:

  • Overall, more of the abusers are staff than inmates.
  • Gang violence inside prisons is often associated with prisoner-on-prisoner violence and rape.
  • Sexual abuse is common in adult prisons, but even more so in juvenile detention facilities. In 2011, almost 200,000 people were sexually abused in U.S. prisons.
  • Nearly one in every ten juveniles held in a juvenile detention center reports having been sexually abused in the prior year.
  • According to the National Inmate Survey, 4.4 percent of those incarcerated in American jails and prisons experienced some form of sexual victimization in the prior year.

Prisoner Abuse in New York and What You Can Do if You Are a Victim

In New York, abuse of the state’s roughly 100,000 prisoners is a daily occurrence, including violence, isolation, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and more. Here in New York City, the Rikers Island Detention Center is no exception. Unfortunately, victims are often reluctant to come forward because they fear retaliation. But just as the original abuse is illegal, so is retaliating in any way against someone who has reported wrongdoing on the part of correction officers. By having a powerful New York City inmate abuse attorney advocating for you, you’ll feel confident that every step will be taken to protect your rights and your well-being while you are doing your part to hold guards and other staff members accountable for their wrongdoing.

You do have recourse. Correction officers have a duty to protect those who have been imprisoned and who have been stripped of the means to adequately protect themselves. Your New York City inmate abuse attorney can assist you in filing charges—whether criminal, civil, or both—against the perpetrator of the abuse and the City of New York (or the State). Your cause of action, depending on your particular situation and the circumstances surrounding the abuse, may be these, among others:

  • Violation of your civil rights
  • Assault, sexual assault, or assault and battery
  • Failure to properly screen personnel in the hiring process
  • Failing to terminate staff who are known to abuse inmates
  • Negligent security
  • Negligent supervision of prison personnel

How to Get the Help You Need: New York City Inmate Abuse Attorney

If you have experienced physical, sexual, or psychological abuse during an incarceration in New York, contact the law offices of civil rights attorney Jon L. Norinsberg immediately. Jon is a New York City police brutality lawyer that has more than 25 years of highly successful legal experience and a heartfelt commitment to justice and the preservation of your civil liberties, along with the willingness and skill to make an aggressive case in your behalf against the city, state, or federal government and their employees. Going up against a government entity is complex and difficult. Special time limits apply, and waiting too long to file could mean the loss of your right to pursue your case. So do not delay. Make that call today and do your part to put an end to the abuse—both for your own sake and that of others in the system.