Many correctional administrations have begun to recognize the benefits of adding outdoor fitness equipment to their recreation yards. There are benefits to themselves as inmates will be happier and easier to manage, and benefits for the inmates such as increased self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Any benefits accompanying physical activity are enhanced when done outside, in the fresh air and sunlight.

titan in a correctional facility

Implementing exercise programs, like outdoor fitness equipment, is cheaper than the costs associated with damages and broken goods because of prison misconduct. The healthcare costs incurred by the facility are all reduced when inmates partake in frequent exercise. An investment in outdoor fitness equipment and other outdoor physical activities like a basketball court lead to a healthier inmate population.

When considering adding inmate fitness equipment to your outdoor rec yard, consider the number of inmates you can accommodate, the space needed, the quality of activities, the durability of the equipment, and that it is tamperproof (not tamper-resistant). Some outdoor fitness equipment is made specifically for the correctional environment and has incorporated all of these elements into the design of the equipment.   
 

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Jail Administrator Benefits

Research has shown that regular exercise significantly improves the mentality of inmates, keeps them productive, and reduces the time available for them to break the rules. Correctional officers who interact and oversee inmates daily will have an easier time doing so when inmates have an outlet to burn off steam and frustration. Easier managed inmates will keep officers and other staff safe and help make employee turnover and burnout less frequent.
 

mental health

Inmate Mental Health Benefits

Frequent exercise aids inmate self-confidence and social skills by reducing tension levels. A major role of exercise in correctional facilities is an outlet or coping mechanism to deal with the stresses of being incarcerated. Exercise is shown to induce a sense of calmness for the individuals who regularly partake in exercise regimes. This improves the prison setting not only for inmates but also for the staff. Also, anger, hostility, and severe aggression decrease as activity increases.

physical health

Inmate Physical Health Benefits 

To prevent disease and illness, the recommended level of exercise is 30 minutes, five times per week. For inmates to stay physically healthy, they must receive the resources to exercise regularly. The installed outdoor fitness equipment should have legitimate exercise options to elevate their heart rate through the various lower body, upper body, abdominal, and cardiovascular exercise stations. Healthier inmates will also help keep facility healthcare expenses low.