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SC Takes Weights

Joining Wisconsin, Mississippi and Arizona the South Carolina DOC banned weight lifting in its prisons in early July, 1995. All weight lifting equipment was removed from that state's prisons and will be made available to prison guards and students at the state Criminal Justice Academy. Prior to this South Carolina had banned personal clothes for its prisoners and mandated short haircuts and no facial hair, abolished furloughs and imposed other regressive measures. Prisoner protest has already included the stabbing of several guards, a hostage taking and litigation [See PLN, July, 1995.]

Other states and Congress are currently considering imposing similar bans on prison weight lifting. As a result of legislative measures (SB X22) which forbid prisoners from lifting weights in order to gain muscular bulk or strength, the California DOC has enacted administrative measures that prevent prisoners from lifting more than 165 lbs. on bars or dumbbells with more than 75 lbs. Prisoners will be limited to one hour of weight lifting a day and be required to pass a medical "exam" every 90 days. [Editor's Note: The March, 1995, issue of PLN had an article exposing the politics behind efforts to ban weight lifting, copies are still available for $1.]

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