Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Student Project: Medical Care for Female Prisoners in the United States: General Standards of Care for Prisoners

This guide provides helpful links to understanding some of the medical concerns facing female prisoners in the United States of America.

Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976)

Estelle v. Gamble is the seminal case for prisoners' medical rights. In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that a prisoner must show that there was a deliberate indifference to his or her medical needs or injuries in order to claim an Eighth Amendment violation under  42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1996). This deliberate indifference constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." U.S. Const. amend VIII

Oral Argument and Opinion Announcement

Library of Congress

Case Brief

The Free Dictionary

Medical and Mental Health Care (ACLU)

The Eighth Amendment

The Eighth Amendment serves as a backdrop or standard against which treatment of prisoners is to be measured.

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Interactive Amendment

Annotated Constitution: The Eighth Amendment

Prisoner's Medical Rights in America

Articles & Legal News Reports

   * = Westlaw subscription required

*** = HeinOnline subscription required

42 U.S.C 1983 (1996)

42 U.S.C. 1983 (1996)

What does this statute mean? This federal statute allows a person to sue the United States government for violations of his or her civil rights. This act applies to persons who act "under color"--or under the authority of--a "statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia," and who violate and/or deprive another's guaranteed rights.

How does this relate to the topic? Prisoners may bring a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against an applicable party when they feel there has been a civil rights violation, and they wish to enforce their rights.

Law Review Articles