Stop Turning Prisons Into Alleged Ovens

Target: Bryan Collier, Executive Director of Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Goal: Install air conditioning in prisons to protect prisoners and guards from heat-related illnesses and deaths.

Human beings are reportedly being cooked to death inside of concrete cells. These disturbing allegations arose following an investigation of Texas incarceration systems, where up to 70 percent of prisons have little to no air conditioning. As a result, temperatures inside cells during a recent heat wave were said to have routinely soared past 100 degrees F, and in some cases climbed to almost 150 degrees F.

While the state’s justice department claims no one has died from heat-related causes in over a decade, the aforementioned report has found otherwise. In fact, close to 14 percent of prison deaths that occur during the summer may be attributable to heat stress. And first-hand accounts from both prisoners and prison guards back up these claims. The dangerous heat has allegedly hospitalized multiple inmates, led to lawsuits, and caused guards to quit their jobs.

The state could resolve this harmful situation by joining the 37 other state that have universal air conditioning within their penal systems. Sign the petition below to demand leaders end this cruel and unusual punishment and de facto death penalty.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Executive Director Collier,

Would you consider subjecting human beings to conditions where they are inside the equivalent of a heated oven to be cruel and unusual punishment? With Texas becoming the increasing target of extreme weather events (including punishing heatwaves), the alleged horrendous environments inside your prisons can no longer be dismissed or ignored. Animals, as they should be, are increasingly falling under heat stress protections, and violations are considered a crime.

The conditions you are reportedly forcing human beings to endure are no different. How many more resignations, lawsuits, or deaths will it take before you course-correct? Stop cutting corners at the expense of lives. Institute universal air conditioning within Texas prison systems as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ron Lach


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