CRJS435 U2DB Assignment Overview Unit 2 Discussion Board
The First Amendment of the United States constitution is very vital to the citizens of the country; it lays the foundation of life in American society. The Amendment has several provisions guaranteeing individuals the freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition (“First Amendment”, n.d.). Generally, the First Amendment forbids Congress from restricting people from practicing the mentioned freedoms. While all the rules of the First Amendment are equally important, I feel that the provision of freedom to expression is the most important to prisoners because, to a higher degree, inmates’ right to free speech is curtailed upon being held in correctional facilities.
The freedom of expression is likely the most important to prisoners because of the limited correspondence that most inmates face in correctional facilities. As is evident from prior case laws, such as Jones v. North Carolina Prisoners’ Union, the majority of the inmates are denied the freedom of expression, including joining unions, based on speculations that such practices may compromise the safety of correctional facilities. Furthermore, some prisons also introduce strict regulations on correspondence to only individuals that are family members and heighten security on prisoner’s access to emails, newspapers, and magazines. In others, inmates that are not family members are only allowed to communicate exclusively regarding legal matters. The highlighted case scenarios are just examples of the many ways in which prisoners’ freedom of speech and expression is limited in correctional facilities.
The fact that the freedom of speech among prisoners is curtailed creates the necessity for the provision of the First Amendment in correctional facilities. As noted, the majority of the policies in prisons are directed to limit this right among inmates. Therefore, further scrutiny should be made on such rules that regulate prisoners’ expression to ensure that the latter is not entirely denied this right that is a vital part of American society.
“First Amendment” (n.d.). Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment