Louisiana Laws Concerning
Weight-lifting in Prison

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Louisiana Laws and Lawmaking

In 1997 a Louisiana bill banning weight-lifting in prisons failed to pass. A resolution to direct the Department of Corrections to study the weightlifting issue, specifically competitions and limiting the amount of weights and weight equipment available to prisoners did pass. This resolution also called for them to make a written report.

A big thanks to a Louisiana attorney, Mr.Robbins, for forwarding us a big thanks to a Louisiana attorney, Mr.Robbins, for forwarding us a copy of the bill and resolution.

Interestingly, the bill lists the major reason for the ban as safety of correctional personnel, law enforcement personnel, and the general public. The resolution, however, focuses on the issue of punishment which is totally absent from the bill. The Regulation focuses on wellness and limiting injuries. It seems like they are having a little trouble determining their purposes.

Also, the bill left no provisions for the use of weight training equipment for physical therapy / rehab purposes.

As of early Feb 98 they have not yet completed the written report. They have drafted and issued a departmental regulation focusing on using weights as a wellness tool and banning competitions.


Digest of HB 450

Present Law - prohibits persons incarcerated in any jail, prison, correctional facility, juvenile institution, temporary holding center, halfway house or detention facility from having access to using programs, whether the programs are supported by state or local funds, or provided by incarcerated volunteers or employees or outside donations or volunteers, for (1) karate, (2) judo, (3) martial arts of any form.

Proposed Law - retains the above and further prohibits persons incarcerated in those facilities from having access to or using (1) free weight equipment, known as barbells or dumbbells, or (2) weight machine equipment that utilizes weight plates, tension bands, or similar devices that provide weight training resistance.

Amends R.S. 15:732 and 733(A)


House Bill No. 450 By Representative Scalise HLS 97-1319 Regular Session 1997

AN ACT to amend and reenact R.S. 15:732 and 733(A), relative to prison inmate recreational facilities and equipment; to the use of certain weight lifting equipment; and to provide related matters.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana;

Section 1. R.S. 15;732 and 733 (A) are hereby amended and reenacted to read as follows;

732. Legislative findings and declaration.

The legislature finds that through the use of weight lifting equipment and though inmate exercise programs, including karate, judo, and other types of martial arts, inmates are drastically improving their physical strength. The safety of law enforcement and correctional officers is being put at a greater and unnecessary risk. The safety of the public at large, as well as law enforcement personnel, may be put in increased jeopardy or increased physical risk upon an inmate's release because of the released prisoner's enhanced physical condition and training. It is therefore the intent of the legislature, for the protection of the public safety and for the protection of law enforcement and correctional personnel, to prohibit the use of weightlifting equipment and karate, judo, or marital arts programs of any form within jails, prisons, correctional facilities, juvenile facilities, temporary holding centers, halfway housed, or detention centers.

733 Prohibition of weightlifting equipment, and karate, judo,or other martial arts programs.

A. No person who is incarcerated by a court of law and is being detained in any jail, prison, correctional facility, juvenile institution, temporary holding center, halfway house, or detention facility shall have access to or use any of the following equipment or programs, whether the programs are supported by state or local funds, or provided by incarcerated volunteers or employees or outside donations or volunteers;

(1) Karate
(2) Judo
(3) Martial arts in any form
(4) Free weight equipment, commonly known as barbells or dumbbells
(5) Weight machine equipment that utilizes weight plates, tension bands, or similar devices that provide weight training resistance.


House Concurrent Resolution No. 260

By Representatives Scalise and Hebert

A Concurrent Resolution

To urge and request the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to consider eliminating all powerlifting competitions held at state prisons as well as limiting the amount of weights available to prisoners for lifting.

Whereas, presently inmates incarcerated in many of Louisiana's state prison facilities have weightlifting equipment available to them on a daily basis; and

Whereas, these inmates, who are supposedly being punished at the expense of the taxpayers of this state, have become so sophisticated in the sport of powerlifting that competitions between the different prisons with various weight classes of individuals competing have become commonplace; and

Whereas, not only is the competition between prisons in sporting activities inconsistent with the goal of punishing these persons for the crimes that they have committed, but those who are later released back into society are given the opportunity to become stronger and more intimidating threats to the citizens of this state; and

Whereas, there may be circumstances where prison weightlifting on a limited basis, can be a tool used by the prisons and the prison guards to keep the inmates under control and to reward those who comply with the rules; and

Whereas, these benefits may make the total elimination of all weightlifting equipment at state prison facilities too severe of an approach at this time; however, elimination of competitions between prisons and limitations on the amount of weights available for lifting should be considered.

Therefore, be it resolved that the Department of Public Safety and Corrections should consider eliminating all powerlifting competitions within and between state prisons and limiting the amount of weights and weightlifting equipment available to prison inmates so that physical fitness and discipline rather than sheer power and intimidation are the goals of such activities.

Be it further resolved that the Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall make a written report of its determinations to the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee of the House of Representatives and the Judiciary B Committee of the Senate at least 60 days prior to the 1998 Regular Session of the Legislature.



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