Walden University Legal Rights and Ethical Treatment for Inmates Discussion

When individuals are sentenced or placed in a jail, they lose various rights. The most obvious of these is the right to freedom, liberty. In most cases, inmates also lose the right to vote in national elections, the right to possess a firearm, and other rights granted to non-convicted citizens. And before the 1960s, courts refused to hear inmates’ petitions when they sued the prison system. Since that time, inmates have been afforded various rights by the courts because of the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union and other similar organizations. These rights encompass such areas as medical care and confidentiality. However, the court often has stepped in to determine to what degree these rights are afforded to inmates. A similar debate is ongoing in the public domain. It has to do with whether inmates are entitled to legal rights and ethical treatment, a debate you weigh in on in this Discussion.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 12 in Introduction to Forensic Psychology. Focus on the legal rights of inmates and which rights are considered most important. Also pay particular attention to the American Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology (AACFP) standards.
  • Review the American Psychological Association’s Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists located in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Think about which practice standards and ethical guidelines you believe are most important for inmates and/or forensic psychology professionals working in the correctional subspecialty.
  • Reflect on whether inmates should have the legal rights they are granted and whether they deserve ethical treatment as defined in the Specialty Guidelines and the AACFP standards.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 your thoughts about whether you think inmates should have the legal rights they are granted and whether they deserve ethical treatment as defined in the American Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology (AACFP) standards and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists and why or why not. Justify your position referencing the legal rights and ethical standards.

Learning Resources


  • Course Text: Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2019). Introduction to forensic psychology: Research and application (5th ed.). Sage.
    • Chapter 12, “Correctional Psychology in Adult Settings”
  • Article: Wormith, J. S., Althouse, R., Simpson, M., Reitzel, L., Fagan, T., & Morgan, R. (2007). The rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders: The current landscape and some future directions for correctional psychology. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(7), 879–892. Use the SAGE Psychology Full-Text Collection and search using the article’s title.Click here for directions on how to access the database articles.

Web Sites

Optional Resources

  • Article: Brodsky, S. L. (2007). Essay: Correctional psychology and the American Association of Correctional Psychology: A revisionist history. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(6), 862–869.
    Use the Psychology: A SAGE Full-Text Collection database and search using the article’s title.Note: Because of the ever-changing nature of Web sites such as those listed below, there is no guarantee that clips or Web sites will always be available. Hence, the following links are listed as Optional Resources only. However, it is highly recommended that you view them as they will assist you in completing one or more of your assignments
  • Text: Hare, R. (1998). Without conscience: The disturbing world of the psychopaths among us. New York: Guilford Press. Book review available at
  • International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology

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