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Test for Prison Conditions

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Lack of prisoner’s full access to Constitutional rights does not necessarily mean that the prisoners should e put through cruel and unusual punishment as they are protected by the constitution's prohibition. However, it Is quite a challenge to determine the prison conditions that constitute cruel and unusual punishments due to different views from the lower courts and the supreme court. For example, districts courts are of the view that deliberate indifference amounts only to life threatening illness. On the other hand, the Supreme Court is of the view that deliberate indifference amounts to activities that the defendant knowingly knew of the plaintiff medical condition and refused to take correct steps. Therefore, deliberate indifference is quite not applicable in deciding and determining when prison conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishments (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2005). This is because of the different interpretation between lower courts and the Supreme Court. On the same note, the Supreme Court interprets that sheer negligence or inadvertence does not make up to deliberate indifference. The defendant under such interpretation can blame negligence for the outcome of cruel and unusual punishments in the prison. The test for determining when prison conditions constitute cruel and unusual punishments is the provision on the constitution in regard to constitution's prohibition of violation of human rights.

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It is unconstitutional to confine an inmate to a four-by-six foot cell as the cell does not offer the prisoner a valid space to rest as provided by the constitution. It is unconstitutional to double-cell an inmate with a chain smoker, as the chain smoker activities would harm the health of the prisoner. This after considering the ruling of Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294(1991).It is unconstitutional to keep cells at 55 degrees as it would harm the health of the prisoners , which is against the eight amendment.

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