NRS 212.010 thru 212.020 – Overview of the Protections Afforded to Prisoners Incarcerated in Nevada

When someone is convicted of a criminal offense and ordered to serve time in prison, it does not mean they lose all of their rights and protections. They are still people who deserve a level of respect and dignity. This is why the Nevada legislature enacted Nevada Revised Statutes 212.010 and 212.020. These statutes set forth specific protections afforded to prisoners in Nevada.

Unnecessary Force

In Nevada, if an officer uses unnecessary and/or excessive force on an inmate, they can be punished for this act. On the first offense, an officer could get suspended. A second offense could result in a demotion. A third offense could result in the correctional officer getting dismissed from the position.

The Prisoner’s Right to Humanness

According to NRS 212.020, it is prohibited to treat a prisoner inhumanely, which generally includes brutal or cruel treatment.

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  • If a jailor or another person is inhumane to you, they could be punished for a gross misdemeanor, which means six months to 364 days in jail and a possibility of up to a $5,000 fee;
  • If an inmate suffers substantial bodily harm from the oppression or cruelty, the jailor or other individual be convicted of a category D felony which includes having to serve between one and four years in prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000.

The employees of any institution of the Nevada Department of Corrections must report any unethical or corrupt behavior they witness that could affect the inmates just as much as he would report that which would affect the employees.

If you believe a punishment you received was inhumane, you have the right to challenge it in the court of law under the “Due Process Clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment. Though most courts will defer to the decision of the prison official, they will look into the punishment you received. In looking into the disciplinary methods in the past, they have found some that were unconstitutional, involving degrading, punitive confinement, and physical abuse.

Requesting a Hearing

Inmates are only entitled to due process procedures, including hearings for disciplinary punishments if:

  • The disciplinary action causes as unusual and substantial hardship; and
  • There is a constitutionally-protected right or liberty that is being harmed by the action or prison policy.

If these two elements are met, a lawsuit could be filed in state or federal court. Next, the inmate must prove that the safeguards the prison has in place are inadequate. The burden of proof lies with you. You should be ready with answers to these questions:

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When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side.

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  • What are the private interests that are involved in the punishment and disciplinary sanction?
  • What is the risk that an interest may be off, even by a little, and what kind of value might there be in adding or substituting procedural safeguards?
  • Lastly, show the government their interest. Include ideas for changes and the price that these ideas would run or save the state.

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