For TX Inmates, Guards, No A/C In 100-Degree Heat


Only 19 of Texas' 112 state prisons, where the summer heat index can top 100 degrees, are air conditioned, says the Houston Chronicle. Those generally are reserved for the sick and mentally ill. For the vast majority of the 155,000 prisoners, not to mention the men and women assigned to guard them, Texas' brutal summers are faced with only fans and primitive air-circulating systems for comfort. So far this year, nine prisoners and seven prison employees have suffered heat-related illness.
Said one inmate: “We spill water on the floor, lie down and point our little fans straight on us. [] It doesn't cool down enough to sleep till 3 a.m. Miniature electric fans are available for $22 at the prison commissary – up to 15,000 are sold systemwide each year – and “loaners” are provided to inmates deemed indigent. Hallways, day rooms and dormitory units are equipped with fans.

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