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Prisoner Rights

            Prisons are places to incarcerate offenders who in society posed a threat, committed a crime and were charged by the courts to serve time. A prisoner retains all the rights of an ordinary citizen except those expressly, or by necessary implications, taken from him by law. (Coffin v. Reichard) Inmates do not have to express their rights, they are generally assumed by law. An inmate should have all constitutional rights except those that need to be necessarily taken from him (Ortega v. Ragen). This could be to protect himself, other inmates, or staff. Such rights of a prisoner . . . . . . .
             Prisoners have the right to courts and counsel. The most obvious way of denying inmates the right to courts is by not letting them mail all court directed letters. The prisoners have the rights to object to conditions of confinement, or to obtain relief from the effect of their sentence. There is not a specific law that states that prisoners are allowed the rights to the court and counsel. However, in the 1969 case of Johhson v. Avery: It is fundamental that access of prisoners to courts for the purpose of presenting their complaints may not be denied or obstructed. In Oklahoma there were two cases where inmates had a certain amount of time to obtain a transcript and acquire an appeal. The two inmates both delivered the correct applications to the prison post office a month and a half before they applications were supposed to be notarized. The courts did not receive the applications until a day after they were due because of prison officials interference with the mail. The prison officials blocked the inmates communication with the courts. Blocking an inmate's access to the courts is a deprivation of a civil rights remediable under the Civil Rights Act. Inmates have the right to correspond with a attorney through the Sixth Amendment. Limited interference between the inmate and attorney is allowed.

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