What constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in a correctional environment?

Based on legislation, prison official are allowed to use forces on prisoners in five situations namely; self defense, defense of third persons, enforcement of prison rules and regulations, prevention of escape and prevention of crime (Palmer, 2010). Based on these provisions, cruel and unusual punishment can be considered use of force in situations that do not fall in this category. In all the permitted situations, the degree of force applied should be non-deadly force. Deadly force is considered that which can cause death or serious bodily harm (Palmer, 2010).