Dealing With Allergies While Incarcerated

You are about to take the deal and it comes with jail or prison time. If you have allergies to food, plants, fabric or other environmental things, it is important that the administrators are made aware.

Having an allergic reaction while incarcerated is different than on the outside. PODS and cells don’t typically make it easy to alert someone. Take the following steps to ensure that everybody is on the same page.

What to Do Prior to Getting Locked Up

Before you go to court, especially if you know you will probably be doing time, get a note from your doctor about your allergies. Don’t be afraid to ask. Doctors deal with it all the time.

See if you can get copies of the most important medical records in your files, the diagnosis, and what you are allergic to. Make copies to leave with someone you trust and take copies with you to court so you will have them when you go to jail.

In the news: Food Allergies In Prison

Refill all medications. Many county jails will allow you to bring in your own allergy prescriptions because it saves them money in the long run. Get them all refilled and take them with you to court or jail.

They won’t typically allow medicines in your cell, but they will keep them in the nurse’s station and administer them to you. Otherwise they will take awhile to have you see the jail doc and even then he will write the prescription for the cheapest medication, regardless of what you usually take.

Arrange for someone to continue picking up your refills at the pharmacy and bring them to the jail each month.

Once You Get Locked Up

Tell everyone who will listen that you have allergies, medicines and the official documentation. Some guards might be rude or not listen. Don’t worry about them. Just keep telling everyone that you want to see the nurse and that you also want copies of your documentation put in your file.

During an Episode

Don’t wait to see if it gets bad. Due to the time it takes to attract attention in a POD, the minute your allergies begin to cause breathing issues, start asking to be taken to medical immediately.

Final thoughts: If you feel your allergies are not being taken seriously and they are of the life threatening variety, don’t hesitate to have family members write directly to the sheriff’s office and ask the sheriff to be sure your allergies are being handled properly. Accountability starts with a paper trail.

You may be interested in: What Is a medical POD?



About Mark Miclette 682 Articles
writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.