Whenever the governmental forces take custody of an individual based on the due process rights that are provided under the constitution, a number of legal issues are bound to arise. In essence, according to the Fourteenth Amendment of the constitution, the state is not allowed to deprive any individual some rights without due process of the law being applied. Such rights may include that to life, property or to a person’s liberty. In essence, this provision applies to both the federal government and the states. As a matter of fact, therefore, it is the duty of the state to ensure that all the individuals put in custody must be accorded the relevant due process and be given the opportunity to be heard and challenge the accusations leveled against them. Failure to do so may mean that the individual was deprived off their basic rights enshrined in the constitution.
The doctrine of the burden of proof, in most cases, takes effect during such confinements. The parties to any case are expected to argue for the reason the case should be ruled to their directions. This means that a party to the case has the onus to explain the truth about a given fact, or another. In most cases, the party or individual who is tasked with the chance to make this demonstration is said to be the one with the burden of proof (Champion et al. 2013). Essentially, they will be trying to argue the reasons as to why making a judgment against them will be wrong. As such, they seek to convince the jury of their innocence. Burden of proof differs depending on the case. Criminal cases, for instance, have their burden of proof being ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Governmental custody in most cases affects the freedoms and the quality of life that the incarcerated individuals are afforded.
In most cases, the government has several liabilities when taking custody of an individual. In essence, putting somebody in custody means that they are deprived off their basic freedoms which are essential in the day to day running of their lives; hence they cannot be in a position to cater for their needs. This is where the government comes in to ensure they have the necessities to life. The first liability that the government incurs is that of providing food to the inmates. Section 501. 003 of the Government Code provide that the inmates that are housed in the correctional facilities have to be well fed with food that is prepared under sanitary conditions. The government should incur the costs for the food. The food should be of sufficient quality and quantity. This is the first liability that the government incurs as pertains to the inmates. They should never be deprived of their right to access of proper food at all times.
Other liabilities that the government may incur may include that of medication and clothing. It is the role of the government to give the inmates in the facilities suitable clothing that must be of a substantial material. In providing the clothing, the government should ensure that it is of a reasonable fit and essentially, it ought to be comfortable. The liabilities arising from this responsibility ought to be incurred by the government. Medication is also essential in the survival of the inmates. In cases where the inmates fall ill while, under governmental custody, the government has a responsibility to provide them with adequate and sufficient mediation that will promote their well-being. No inmate should be ignored. Failure to provide them with the relevant medication leads to a breach of the basic rights of the inmates, and the government can be sued for it. All the liabilities explained above ought to be incurred by the government.
The responsibility of providing goods and services to the inmates lies entirely on the government. In essence, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the necessary goods and services that are required by the inmates in order to make their lives more comfortable are provided. The government ought to ensure that there are literacy programs put in place so that the inmates are given constructive lessons on life. Programs should be established with the aim of teaching the inmates on how to read and write. During such programs, inmates that have some skills that are essential ought to be given the chance to impart the knowledge they have to the other inmates.
Despite the custody that the government has towards the inmates, sometimes need arises for the emergency absence. This occurs when it is necessary for the inmates to be absent, under the escort of the authority, in order to obtain some basic services. Such a need may arise when it is necessary for the inmates to obtain some medical treatment, attend funerals of close family members, etc. When such is the case, the government should take full responsibility in ensuring the life that the inmates lead is bearable (Johnson, 1998). Subjecting the inmates to inhuman conditions is against the law as it infringes their rights. The government, therefore, takes full responsibility in providing the relevant goods and services to the persons it puts under its custody.
Inmates should be accorded their basic. Right to worship, right to life among many more rights should be granted to them. However, in their confinements, most or some of their rights are taken away. For instance, right to association and freedom of movement ought to be taken away from the inmates.
Over time, the methods and practices of incarceration have shifted. Essentially, this is brought by the changes in the social and the political environment. Social factors have greatly influenced the perception that people have towards the inmates. In the early days, inmates were seen as the devils in the society (Mays et al. 1996). Their punishments were inhuman and their rights, in most cases, were violated. Corporal punishment and hard labor were the norms of the day. The inmates were also denied some of the basic rights that individuals ought to be granted. Their food was of low quality and small quantities. All this was to ensure that they learned through the hard way. However, the change of perception towards the inmates has seen them being treated in an improved manner. Their rights have been recognized and they are accorded the basic freedoms that are essential to the human being. In achieving this, the political environment has played a crucial role. For instance, through campaigning on the inmates rights, many politicians end up promising better services to the inmates since they are also human beings. Through the social and political changes, the manner that inmates are treated has significantly shifted.
Champion, D. J., Merlo, A. V., & Benekos, P. J. (2013). The juvenile justice system: Delinquency, processing, and the law. Upper Saddle River, N. J: Pearson Education.
Johnson, R. (1998). Death work: A study of the modern execution process. Belmont, CA: West/Wadsworth.
Mays, G. L., & Gray, T. (1996). Privatization and the provision of correctional services: Context and consequences. Highland Heights, KY: Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.