Article 134- Drunk prisoner
If a prisoner (enlisted member) is found drunk in a correctional facility
and after a court martial confirms his guilt, he can be handed more punishment.
The case of a drunk prisoner is not specifically mentioned in the text
of Article 134. The text of Article 134 concerning this violation of the
UCMJ says that all neglects and disorders that harm the discipline and
good order in the armed forces, or any conduct, which by its nature brings
discredit to the armed forces, will be tried in a court martial and if
confirmed, will be punished.
A prisoner getting drunk is not enough to attract capital punishment. Therefore,
the proof presented to support the charge must show all the elements of
Elements of the Drunk Prisoner violation of Article 134.
- The defendant was prisoner.
- The defendant was found drunk when he was a prisoner.
- In the circumstance, the accused's conduct was detrimental to the discipline
and good order in the armed forces or the nature of his act brought discredit
to the armed forces.
Explanation of the Elements
A 'prisoner' is an individual who is in custody or confinement
imposed on him by the Rules of Court Martial 302, 304 and 305 or is serving
a sentence handed to him by a court martial and has not been freed by
the proper authority.
- According to Rule 302, an individual can prevent a statement taken from
him, during a mental examination, or any evidence obtained on the basis
of the statement from being used against him.
- Rule 304 says that involuntary statements or the evidence derived fore
with, are not admissible as proof, expect under certain conditions (eg.
- Rule 305 concern the rights of the accused. Any statements obtained in
violation of Rule 305, cannot be used as evidence against the accused.
'Drunk' refers to intoxication which is sufficient to restrict
the full and rational exercise of the individual's physical and mental
faculties. The word 'drunk' is related to intoxication on alcohol.
Where do prisoners get alcohol from?
Alcohol is notoriously difficult to make in prison and but many inmates
nevertheless, attempt it. It is usually made from a number of purloined
materials (from the prison kitchen) or from fruit served or bought by
the inmates. The rule is, if you can ferment a prison food item, you can
make some alcohol from it. One prison in East Sussex (U.K) has banned
prisoners from buying fruit because many of the prisoners were using the
fruit to make prison alcohol.
The end product, is a shadow of the real stuff and is unlike anything you
would get outside. So the prisoners sometimes fortify the home brew with
anti-freeze (that they steal from prison vehicles), which makes it more
potent. This prison made brew is capable of giving a light buzz. But due
to the difficulty in obtaining the ingredients and the danger of being
discovered, inmates do not usually make prison alcohol.
In most cases, it is easier to smuggle alcohol into the prison. Some prisoners
have friends among the guards. They also develop contacts in the prison
who can get them the alcohol for a price. Sometimes, a guard will himself
share alcohol with a prisoner.
Hand wash gels also contain alcohol. The percentage of alcohol in some
hand wash gels is far above the alcohol level in conventional alcoholic
drinks. Many prisoners, desperate for a drink will get intoxicated after
drinking hand wash.
What is the punishment if a prisoner is found drunk?
The maximum punishment that can be levied on a drunk prisoner is three
months of confinement and forfeiture of 2/3
rd of his monthly pay, up to three months.