LaswellMeet Broderick Lloyd Laswell. Broderick has been an inmate in an Arkansas prison for eight months. Like most prisoners he is isn’t entirely content.

Now, we might imagine all manner of complaints that an inmate might have about their prison: like being there at all when they are “innocent” (nudge-nudge-wink-wink) and merely suffered at the hands of a bad lawyer, idiotic jury and a senile old judge. Or perhaps they’re not happy because their cell gets a bit cold during those winter nights. Maybe the guards are a bunch of ball-busters. Or alternatively Big Gay Lenny keeps throwing all the bars of soap onto the floor in the showers.

Alas, none of this seems to bother Broderick. His problem is simple: the fat fucker thinks he isn’t getting enough food.

Yup, more burgers for big bad bulging Broderick please. He’s lost 7 stone since being in jail. Now, if your only 15 stone to begin with then that’s half your body weight and you might have a case, but after losing 7 stone Broderick is still 22 stone (140kg), since this man-mountain was 29 stone to begin with. And as a result of the weight loss he is suing the powers-that-be, in the hope of getting an extra slice of cheese in his sandwiches, or perhaps a few more Sugar-O’s in his breakfast bowl.

Poor sod, eh? He even claims that his vision has started to go blurry as a result of not getting enough to eat. I rather suspect his vision is going blurry from having to lift his fat ass and drag it reluctantly away from his television set to the exercise yard.

How much food is enough? Well, here in the UK the recommended daily allowance for an adult male is 2500 calories, and I think it’s something similar in the US. The prison has stated that their meals average around 3,000 calories a day, which should be enough to satisfy all but the heaviest lard-ass. However, it’s not enough for poor old Broderick who weighed in at 29 stone when he was first thrown in prison charged with beating and stabbing a – probably much lighter – man to death.

In his complaint he whines: “About an hour after each meal my stomach starts to hurt and growl. I feel hungry again,” and that “The only reason we lost weight in here is because we are literally being starved to death.” I think as part of Broderick’s punishment he should be forced to watch TV clips from Ethiopia to learn the definition of starving to death. 3000 calories isn’t rightly called “starving to death” on any intelligent definition of that phrase.

If I was to run the prison he’d be lucky to get more than a few carrot sticks until he was just fat enough to not slide through the bars and escape. As exercise I’d maybe strip him naked and let Big Gay Lenny chase him around the exercise yard for a while. Vision blurry Broderick? You’ll be blind when Lenny gets you! Stomach hurting? Your ass is going to hurt too if you don’t move it a bit quicker you fat bastard!

Prison isn’t meant to be a nice place, and yet, certainly in Britain, more and more prisoners have access to all manner of luxuries – TV’s, radios, pool tables, games consoles. Much is made about the level of illiteracy amongst prisoners, about how many leave prison no better than when they came in, and how prison seemingly has done them no good. That’s true, and there is a frightening recidivism rate. But it isn’t the fault of prisons as much as it is the fault of a particular use of prisons that’s becoming fashionable in a culture that takes the rights of prisoners much too seriously.

Punishment and correction: that’s why you’re there. When some idiot with no qualifications gets banged up for mugging little old ladies why can’t attaining a certain level of education be made a condition of their release? If Robbie the Robber hasn’t got a job and is good for nothing then maybe he shouldn’t be out of prison until he’s achieved something, perhaps training for a trade or learning basic maths and English.

Going back to Broderick: he was 29 stone, and that’s not good. Even at his current weight of 22 stone he’s around the combined weight of nearly 2 average adult men. The prison is doing the man a favour. (Of course, charged with murder he might well want to remain obese given that it’ll take years off his life and thus off his sentence!) It’s tiresome listening to prisoners moaning about their lot. If you have violated someone’s rights by taking their life, physically abusing them or stealing their property then there are consequences to face. Certain rights and luxuries are taken from you, in accordance with what a law court decides. You aren’t there for a good time and you certainly aren’t there to consume half the food produce of India.

It’s difficult to have any sympathy for such complaints. If you’ve stabbed someone to death why should I care than your stomach rumbles a bit? Frankly in a properly run prison a rumbling stomach should be the least of your worries.