More inmates sue over lack of dental floss

Four inmates at the Palm Beach, FL, County Jail have filed civil lawsuits against the sheriff for not providing dental floss, which has led to “pain and suffering,” according to a news story on

The first suit was filed in early October, but Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is adamant that the inmates will not receive floss because it's made of a strong fiber and can be made into a weapon or rope, according to the story.

Last month a group of inmates in a New York county jail sued the Westchester County Department of Corrections for $500 million over a similar issue. In a 25-page lawsuit filed September 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Santiago Gomez, lead plaintiff in the suit, claimed the prisoners' civil rights have been violated because the jail does not give inmates access to dental floss but is aware that failure to use floss can causes cavities.

Julius Rocker, one of the Florida inmates who has filed a lawsuit, claims in his lawsuit that he has been continuously denied adequate dental care and treatment, and wants monetary compensation for the development of poor dental health.

People seem to think this an area where they could get litigation, according to R. Scott Chavez, vice president of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care in the story, but dental floss is not a "high-priority need."

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