Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Can Inmates Be Given Vasectomies Instead of Jail?

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

An oddball case has made it to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, alleging that inmates in Tennessee were unduly coerced into agreeing to have a vasectomy in exchange for credit for time served in custody, and that the offer violated the civil rights of inmates.

Shortly after the news of the judge created policy broke in the summer of 2017, it was rescinded under public pressure. However, as noted in appellate argument, some inmates were still being awarded the credits under the policy.

Cutting Time

At issue on appeal was whether the plaintiffs actually had standing, or suffered a tangible, redressable injury in fact. The plaintiffs had not taken the judge up on his offer, but rather contended that the very offer itself violated their constitutional rights because others who accepted were advantaged.

While defendants and inmates often give up certain rights to accept plea deals, or, as in this case, to get additional credit for time served, when the right to procreate gets mixed up with criminal justice, things get weird. One issue for the plaintiffs however is that all have been released, and, as the government argued, no longer have claims, and cannot accrue claims, related to this policy.

The plaintiffs' attorney maintained that the plaintiffs did suffer an injury in that their convictions will not be eligible for expungement as soon as those inmates who did accept the offer.

Related Resources:

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard