The projected weather forecast over the next few weeks is consistent with NOAA’s Extreme Danger level on the Heat Index chart. It is more important than ever that the TDCJ units are following the Administrative Directives that relate to extreme heat conditions. Unfortunately, this is not being done.
TDCJ Administrative Directive AD-10.64 is not being followed by most units as it relates to the availability of water and ice, respite, and other safety measures. Additionally, offenders are being written cases at some units if they request respite, they are threatened with cases if they want to file grievances for being refused respite, and they are being threatened with cases when calling their family and friends to call the units and complain. This is unacceptable and must stop.
Pursuant to the TDCJ Correctional Institutions Division (CID), as posted on the TDCJ website, the “mission,” in relevant part, is as follows:
“The mission of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional Institutions Division is to provide safe and appropriate confinement, supervision, rehabilitation and reintegration of adult felons, and to effectively manage or administer correctional facilities based on constitutional and statutory standards.”
The CID is not living up to that mission. Keeping offenders in ravaging heat that can and has caused serious bodily harm and even death is not consistent with “providing safe and appropriate confinement.”
THIS APPLIES TO TDCJ EMPLOYEES ALSO ***************** THIS APPLIES TO TDCJ EMPLOYEES ALSO
There is little doubt that there WILL BE heat related injuries and deaths in the coming weeks if nothing is done to intervene in the unconstitutional violations of the offenders’ rights. Apparently TDCJ executives and regional directors have learned nothing at all from the decision, and costs to the State of Texas, in the Pack Unit lawsuit. If you need to review that case, the civil action number is 4:14-cv-1698, in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
How many offenders will have heat strokes, suffer from exacerbation of their medical conditions, or even die before the ongoing violations of the administrative directives are rectified? Does anyone care?
Please consider this email as providing ACTUAL NOTICE to TDCJ that these issues need resolved immediately. If not, more Pack Unit like lawsuits are eminent.
Legislators, please put this on your legislative agenda in the upcoming legislative session and finally get air conditioning at all units so that TDCJ can live up to its stated mission to “provide safe and appropriate confinement.” TDCJ is tasked with safely housing offenders, not punishing them, or worse, killing them. Constitutional rights are being violated and must stop.
TDCJ EXTREME HEAT REFORM
Fellow Prison Reform Advocates:
We continue to make slow progress. However, the steps being taken by the wardens are being met with resistance by many of the rank and file officers.
Now we are escalating this matter to include some of the key legislators on the emails. It is important to continue to let the decision makers know that this is unacceptable and needs to be fixed immediately.
The next two weeks will be brutal.
Now look at the chart below. With any humidity at all, these temperatures are dangerous.
As you can see, in the heat of the summer, the temperatures can easily exceed 100 degrees. Central Texas is historically hot. Despite multiple efforts, TDCJ continues to violate the written TDCJ Excessive Heat directives.
Correctional officers are still not providing ice water as required by the TDCJ administrative directives. THIS MUST STOP.
If you would like to see a story on the depth of this issue, here is a link to a video that pretty much sums it up:
Prison Heat: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
TDCJ administrative directives are NOT being followed. TDCJ is no stranger to heat related lawsuits – without your help and immediate corrective action by the TDCJ, more serious bodily injuries or deaths may occur.
Please continue to support this effort by sending another one-click email follow-up.
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Texas Prison Reform Project