Give one case that focuses on inmate rights.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There have, of course, been a large number of Supreme Court cases that have touched on the issue of what rights inmates have while they are in prison.  One of the most important of these was the case of Estelle v. Gamble.  This was a case that was decided by the Supreme Court in 1976.

One of the issues in this case was the issue of prisoners’ rights to health care.  In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that all inmates have the right to have sufficient health care for health issues that may arise.  In this case, the prisoner Gamble was hurt while working.  He was not given good health care and sued.  The Supreme Court ruled that the prison had actually tried to give him good health care but had inadvertently failed to do so.  Thus, while Gamble did not actually win his case, the case established the principle that all inmates have the right to health care.  If they are not given this right, the Court said, they are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment that is illegal under the 8th Amendment.