What could the US prison system do about implanted inmates?

This is purely a hypothetical. Obviously, external adornment (earrings, possibly even dermals?) are usually removed except for a religious necklace and an unadorned wedding band. Assuming we have no wardens/judges lurking here, I doubt we’ll ever learn an official policy (or more likely unofficial or ad hoc), but could a prison legally force you to get implants removed? From what I’ve read (e.g. Beyond Estelle: Medical Rights for Incarcerated Patients | Prison Legal News), generally it seems that for a competent inmate, standard medical consent rules apply.

I think a warden might have a leg to stand on in terms of the chip being non-medically necessary contraband kept under the skin for which surgical removal is justified. I wonder if perhaps there’s a case to be made for a contraband that poses basically no threat not justifying a surgical procedure to remove it, but I’m not a constitutional lawyer (I don’t even play one on TV).

Ironically, I bet being talkative about the implants would be a bigger danger in terms of attracting psychiatric attention than a contraband raid.

If you heard of an inmate who was compelled to undergo surgery (well, if you could call a bandaid-able nick surgery) to remove implants, would you tend towards “that’s just how the cookie crumbles in prison” or “somebody call the ACLU!”?

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Only relevant case I know involved an inmate with body mod “pearls” on his genitalia that was removed surgically

Was a pretty good lawsuit if I remember… there’s a thread floating around about it


How would an NFC tag ever be more dangerous than a hard sharp object on a wire? :weary:
Anyway, I don’t know much about the subject but I find it hard to imagine they would put the effort, time, and legal risk to get a chip removed if it poses no threat whatsoever. Especially if it’s not a big visible one, how would they even know?

Statistically, there must be a considerable number of inmates with silicone implants so the fact we’ve never heard about that probably means that it doesn’t matter? I think? Except from @Eriequiet 's example

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You never know… Maybe it’s an implant that would project a Swiss account number on the wall, account containing dirty money :sweat_smile:


A couple of threads that are related:


Maybe an implant containing some toxin. But even then the necklace does the same job without any premeditation and cost so :man_shrugging:
I’m trying to think of some information you might want to sneak in but you wouldn’t even be able to read it and also you could do the same with tattoos or memorization.
Maybe explosives? A flex-sized piece of coated explosive could easily break a lock assuming you can get it out of you…

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Assuming anyone finds out about it in the first place… security through obscurity is the first line of defense.

From memory, one could argue the medical risk of removal outweighs the danger of retaining it.


This is ridiculous - I seriously doubt that women have to get their silicone boobs removed when going to prison… damned double standards


I spoke to an attorney about this out of curiosity one time and he claimed (off the record ofc) that unless there were some sort of asset to be seized in relation to the implants (maybe if you stored bitcoin private key or something?) Then it’d be unlikely for them to remove them.