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Jail/prison
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My DD asked me an interesting q today to which I couldn't answer. So I will ask you all here. If someone with celiac goes to jail or prison will they be given gluten-free foods or do they get what everyone gets? And if they are given gluten-free foods, are precautions taken to avoid cc?

Eager to read any answers.

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Something I have often wondered myself. My personal feeling is that the bread and water trick would not be allowed :ph34r:

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I don't know about over there but here the hospital wouldn't allow for gluten free :/

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No, I was in hospital in the US and the kitchen staff didn't even know what gluten was. They had special diets for everything but gluten. So they put me on a cardiac diet which meant I couldn't eat anything :lol:

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I could be wrong but since the diet is a medical need, like insulin for a diabetic, they would have to make an attempt to feed the diagnosed inmate gluten free. The food would likely be very boring and I doubt most places would be very knowledgeable about CC.

Interestingly in one country, sorry I don't recall which one, they did an experiement with a prison feeding inmates the diet. They found that there was less violence but dropped the experiment because too many prisoners families snuck in gluten food and compromised the experiment.

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From what I have heard about prisons, from people who have worked in them, you likely would be given what everyone

else eats. It would depend on the actual prison and even what you are in for. The food served in most prisons is not a nutritionally balance diet. Its cheap & easy. Even with medical documentation of illnesses that require treatment, you may not get medical care for your condition.

I'm sure someone will come on & say the prison they work at does a nice job, but I don't think that is the majority.

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I could be wrong but since the diet is a medical need, like insulin for a diabetic, they would have to make an attempt to feed the diagnosed inmate gluten free. The food would likely be very boring and I doubt most places would be very knowledgeable about CC.

I have a friend who worked as a prison psychiatrist. Prisoners in the US do NOT get adequate medical care by any stretch of the imagination. There is barely money to feed them, let alone try to get medications or special food. There isn't a chance a prisoner would get a celiac diet unless they got so sick they required regular ER visits. Even then you would be dealing with an understaffed kitchen and a cook who probably doesn't care enough to keep from CC'ing the food.

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I really doubt that a prisoner wouldn't be accommodated given that his/her condition is officially diagnosed. Prisoners are still protected by the American Disabilities Act, I'm sure

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http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-news-muslim-inmate-law-suit,0,3075863.story

This was in the local paper today. Not specific to Celiac but does touch on the fact that Kosher and Halal meals ARE provided. I would think medical necessity would also be covered but could be totally wrong.

Guess your DD just needs to keep out of prison so she doesn't have to find out ;)

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Note to self: "Stay out of prison."

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http://www.fox8.com/news/wjw-news-muslim-inmate-law-suit,0,3075863.story

This was in the local paper today. Not specific to Celiac but does touch on the fact that Kosher and Halal meals ARE provided. I would think medical necessity would also be covered but could be totally wrong.

Guess your DD just needs to keep out of prison so she doesn't have to find out ;)

I would bet that most of the "kosher, halal, vegetarian" wouldn't pass any test for actually meeting a religious standard. There may be a few systems that do a nice job.

Just because you are diagnosed with a medical illness before or during a prison term, does not mean you will get treatment for it. If you are convicted of something nasty - your chances decrease. I say this because I have known people working in several prisons.

Celiac, even diagnosed, would be considered a scam in many systems. Perhaps, keeping you from getting out early on good behavior. Just like chest pain and hypoglycemia related dizziness, etc.

The moral of the story is - Don't go to jail!

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Note to self: "Stay out of prison."

Yeah exactly.

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Interesting replies! Most of you say gluten-free would not be offered & you are probably right. What prompted DD to ask was that we were watching "Beyond scared straight" where teenagers are take to prison for a day in an attempt to set them on a good path in life. It made her think if celiacs would get proper food in jail? DD is a very good girl & would never go to prison but it cld happen--wrong place wrong time, you know anything can happen to anybody at any time.

On a slightly different tangeant recently in the news there was a man who robbed a bank so he cld get arrested in order to get medical care in jail. I guess the crappy medical care in jail is better than n nothing at all. Ironically he only stole $1 & never stayed in jail long enough to get an aspirin!

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My dad used to be a prison guard and there weren't any special diet accommodations. Diabetics were expected to work with what was given (don't eat the dessert unless you want to go to the ER, which they did often)... Then a college classmate was a women's prison guard and they had a salad bar and a very carb heavy hot lunch. They purposely fed the women lots of pasta and potatoes to fatten them up and slow them down. I cringe thinking about it now that I know of celiac :(

Prisoners are NOT treated well in the US, in general. It's pretty bleak.

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Let me get this straight--women are give heavy carbs to fatten them up?! IN mens prison they have a gym & weights to make them stronger--what's wrong with this picture??

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Interesting replies! Most of you say gluten-free would not be offered & you are probably right. What prompted DD to ask was that we were watching "Beyond scared straight" where teenagers are take to prison for a day in an attempt to set them on a good path in life. It made her think if celiacs would get proper food in jail? DD is a very good girl & would never go to prison but it cld happen--wrong place wrong time, you know anything can happen to anybody at any time.

The question would make an interesting research project for her. She could write to the dietary depts' head at a few prisons and see what their response is. I would think you would get quite a variety of different responses from different states and their local jails. For me both hospitals and the penal system would be scarey places to have to be.

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Let me get this straight--women are give heavy carbs to fatten them up?! IN mens prison they have a gym & weights to make them stronger--what's wrong with this picture??

I think giving men weights is not in favor in prisons any longer. A few years ago, I toured the new state prison before inmates moved in. It was considered state- of- the- art They don't allow them any exercise except walking. They can't even play basketball due to liability issues. It's hard to take care of an inmate with a cast on his wrist. They had a beautiful kitchen with many fryers. I think the fattening up of inmates may be applying to men too.

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The kid's pediatrician told me about her ex-brother-in-, he went to prison and got diagnosed with Celiac. He was a lawyer who got busted for "fixing tickets". He was probably sent to the nicest institution a lawyer could find.

Prison systems have come a long way. It really was a bread and water diet 1800's-1900's. Solitary confinement killed inmates slowly and cruelly. Left in the dark prisoners would go blind and the skin would grow pale and the did not even get hair or fingernail trims. When the laws changed and it was deemed less cruel to give someone the death penalty than leave them in solitary, they pulled the prisoners out of the dark. They died when exposed to the light(even though they had gone blind).

I think it would really depend on the state, and the prison, and what the crime was.

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@mommida--it would be interesting to know if ped's bro-in-law was fed gluten-free while in his "country club" prison. Next time u visit the ped please ask.

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I believe he was fed a gluten free diet. He contracted Hepatitus (during his stay in the "country club"?), and passed away at a very young age. I think she said it was only 3 years in the clink.

She has retired from her pediatric office and now runs an emergency pediatric clinic.

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Note to self: "Stay out of prison."

Good idea. That said, occasionally the system makes mistakes and people are incarcerated pending the trial that ends with "Not Guilty." And, yes, I also know that "not guilty" does not necessarily mean "innocent." Just as "not gluten-free" does not necessarily mean "contains gluten." :unsure:

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My DD asked me an interesting q today to which I couldn't answer. So I will ask you all here. If someone with celiac goes to jail or prison will they be given gluten-free foods or do they get what everyone gets? And if they are given gluten-free foods, are precautions taken to avoid cc?

Eager to read any answers.

I work for the Department of Corrections in my state....no gluten free diet, no exceptions.

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@timmcneal: You say no gluten free foods no exceptions--what state are you in? Do you think other states would accommodate a celiac prisoner? What about minimal security country club type prisons? Jail is less than 1 yr & prison is 1 yr or more am I right? What if a prisoner had a peanut allergy would he be given a peanut butter sandwich?

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Just to add a little updated light to this subject.

My boyfriend was sentenced to a correctional facility (jail with daily work release, more or less) today. His lawyer was pleading down the number of days and using Celiac's/Gluten Intolerance as a reason why he should not serve the full recommended 30 days. Well in the end, the judge ruled that Gluten Intolerances are very common now and that the facility would be able to support him. I have not heard from him yet how the food is or if they even make an effort to cater towards the gluten-free inmates but I will keep you guys posted. From what the Judge said, it sounds like they might in some places now.

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Perhaps the inmates needing a gluten free diet, should send the wardens the information from the media portraying the diet as a sort of horribly difficult regimen which is difficult to adhere to, is less nutritious, and doesn't taste very good. You know, a bit of reverse psychology using all the talking points by the wheat lobby we all know and love so much. ;) Judge: "I sentence you to 30 days of reading every label before you can eat anything." Lawyer: "But, Your Honor, that would take too much time.... " Judge "40 days, then, and mandatory dry commercial rice tapioca loaf at least once a day." "Lawyer: "Cruel and unusual...." Judge: "Quit now or it's bean flour and quinoa patty for breakfast." Defendant: (to Lawyer) "pssstt NO don't say anything else!"

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