(NEW YORK) — A 400-pound inmate wants the New York City Department of Corrections to pay a hefty price for forcing him to wear the same clothes he was arrested in throughout his one-year jail sentence.
“No one has issued me institutional clothing or made any attempt to measure me,” Elias Diaz, 55, wrote in a handwritten lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, which asks for $1 million in damages.
Diaz, who wears a size 7X large, said he wore the same sweats and T-shirt every day until his release on Dec. 30, 2011. He was in the Rikers Island jail serving a sentence for criminal possession of a weapon.
He alleged that during his one-year sentence, requests for his own prison-issued garb were repeatedly ignored, causing him “undue stress and mental anguish.”
“I had the displeasure of being threatened with an infraction because I was not wearing approved garments,” he wrote of his experience in the prison mess hall.
Officials made an exception and allowed Diaz’s family to send him clothing; however, the packages were rejected for various reasons, he wrote.
Department of Correction spokeswoman Sharman Stein said the city has not seen the lawsuit, but added, “There’s an established grievance process, which the inmate new well about. He never filed a grievance.”
In his complaint, Diaz wrote, “Upon my release I will be seeking profetional [sic] therapy. The therapy is going to be expensive.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin and Holly Yan, CNN
Wayne Covil, WTVR
Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN
Carina Storrs Special to CNN