Monday, April 28, 2008

Jailhouse Diet

Arkansas client unhappy with county's weightloss plan.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Broderick Lloyd Laswell says he isn't happy that he's lost 105 pounds over the past eight months and is down to 308 pounds.

Laswell is an inmate in the Benton County Jail and has filed a federal court suit complaining about the diet he's been fed by the county.

According to the suit filed Friday, Laswell weighed 413 pounds when he was jailed on a capital murder charge in September.

Police say he and a codefendant fatally beat and stabbed Randy Walker, then set his trailer home on fire. An autopsy showed that Walker was dead when the Aug. 30 fire was started. Prosecutor Van Stone says he'll seek the death penalty for both defendants.

Laswell's suit was filed without a lawyer in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville. He claims the jail doesn't provide inmates with enough food.

"On several occasions I have started to do some exercising and my vision went blurry and I felt like I was going to pass out," Laswell wrote in his complaint. "About an hour after each meal my stomach starts to hurt and growl. I feel hungry again."

Laswell claims he's lost about a half-pound a day.

"If we are in a small pod all day (and) do next to nothing for physical exercise, we should not lose weight," according to Laswell. "The only reason we lost weight in here is because we are literally being starved to death."

Laswell's suit also asks that the county be ordered to serve hot meals to its inmates.

The jail has served only cold food for years. The meals, provided through Aramark Correctional Institution Services, average 3,000 calories a day, according to Jail Capt. Hunter Petray.

Some people would kill to lose 1/2 lb a day. Unfortunately, he did and got caught.