The Challenges and Accommodations for Extremely Obese Inmates in Prison

Lily Smith

Updated Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 1:45 AM CDT

The Challenges and Accommodations for Extremely Obese Inmates in Prison

The Unique Needs of Extremely Obese Inmates

In the world of criminal justice, prisons are designed to house individuals who have committed crimes, regardless of their physical condition. However, when it comes to extremely obese inmates, there are unique challenges that need to be addressed. These individuals require specialized medical care and accommodations to ensure their well-being and ability to navigate the prison environment.

In regular prisons, there are no larger bunks, toilets, or other accommodations specifically designed for extremely obese inmates. However, when an inmate weighs 800+ pounds, they are typically placed in a facility that can provide them with the necessary medical care and accommodations until they can get around on their own.

The Rarity of Extremely Obese Inmates in Prisons

It is incredibly rare for someone of such size to end up in prison. Their weight often limits their ability to commit crimes or even leave their bed. In fact, most people who require convalescent care due to extreme obesity do not commit felonies that lead to prison time because they are unable to leave their homes.

Specialized Facilities and Medical Care

Prisons that house extremely obese inmates may provide larger bed sizes, toilets, and showers to accommodate their needs. Inmates who are bedridden or wheelchair-bound due to their size may not be placed in the general population but rather in specialized facilities with medical staff who can provide the necessary care.

These facilities also offer specialized diets and extra medical visits to address the health issues associated with extreme obesity. Inmates receive proper medical care and accommodations until they can become more independent and perform basic tasks on their own.

The Unlikelihood of Obese Inmates Staying Obese in Prison

In prison, it is difficult for an inmate to remain obese without medical intervention or something keeping them obese. In hospitals, extremely obese patients can lose weight simply by monitoring their diet without exercise. Similarly, in prison, medical staff ensures that the inmate loses enough weight to be able to perform basic tasks independently, even if they are still not at an ideal size.

The Intersection of Obesity and Criminality

People who weigh 800+ pounds are severely disabled, making it unlikely for them to get into trouble or commit crimes. Financial crimes may be one of the few types of offenses that extremely obese individuals could potentially commit. However, it is important to note that the cross-section of people who are both extremely obese and criminals is likely non-existent.

Prisons face unique challenges when it comes to accommodating extremely obese inmates. These individuals require specialized medical care, larger accommodations, and specialized diets. Regular prisons are not equipped to handle their needs, and specialized facilities are necessary to ensure their well-being and ability to navigate the prison environment. While extremely obese inmates are rare, it is essential for the criminal justice system to address their unique needs and provide the necessary support for their rehabilitation.

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