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I am sorry to hear that he is going through this while incarcerated, but there are no federal statutory guidelines for "space requirements" for prisoners. Courts
review each prison overcrowding case on a case by case basis for reasonableness based on the specific facts.
The denial of food or medical treatment would be considered a violation of his 8th Amendment Right against cruel and unusual punishment
and the prison cannot deny him food in exchange for medical care nor can they force him to make such a choice and this (not the overcrowding) would be grounds for a civil suit. This is something that you need to get him an attorney to file a claim for an 8th Amendment violation over as that is the strong claim because as far as overcrowding goes, the courts generally would not find that 11 men in a 12 x 18 prison cell is a violation as courts consider prison to be punishment and not a convenience.
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