"There are, then, four principles by which we may determine whether a particular punishment is ‘cruel and unusual:
* The “essential predicate” is “that a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity,” especially torture.
* A severe punishment that is obviously inflicted in wholly arbitrary fashion.” (Furman v. Georgia temporarily suspended capital punishment for this reason.)
* A severe punishment that is clearly and totally rejected throughout society.”
* A severe punishment that is patently unnecessary.”
- Justice Brennan, Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972)
(Found Via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruel_and_unusual_punishment)
Sexual assault in prisons is treated as part of the punishment. It’s joked about, because well…that’s what you get! It’s part of the deterrent, and clearly if people didn’t want to get sexually assaulted, they wouldn’t get themselves arrested.
Imagine if a judge actually ordered that, though. Stood up in front of everyone and said, “I sentence you to (x) number of years to being sexually assaulted and unprotected while living in a corrupt system far away from where the public eye can easily see you being tortured. After you are let out, if we let you out, you will be nearly unemployable - thus leaving you susceptible to the circumstances that tend to lead people to getting arrested.”
It would be helpful to just come out and admit, because then we could say, “That’s clearly Cruel and Unusual punishment.” But since it’s not an ‘official’ part of the system, it’s not technically part of the punishment.
The forces that converged to make this system a reality are geniuses.
Ashley Diamond, a black transgender woman who has been denied hormones that she took for nearly two decades before she became a prisoner in Georgia.
The Southern Poverty Law Center warned legal action against the state’s prison officials in violation of the Constitution’s ban against cruel & unusual punishment. If these allegations are true, the officials also breached the department’s own policy, which calls for Georgia’s prisons to provide hormones to all inmates who start taking them before their incarceration.