Extreme Temperature and COVID 19 in Texas Prisons   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Executive Summary: "Texas is one of at least thirteen states in the U.S. that does not have universal air-conditioning in state prisons. Throughout the history of imprisonment in Texas, incarcerated people have experienced great harm from extreme heat and a lack of adequate protections. Although 87 percent of households in the U.S. use air-conditioning equipment, only 30 percent of Texas prison units are fully air-conditioned. Temperatures inside units have been shown to regularly reach 110 degrees and in at least one unit have topped 149 degrees. [...] Findings from this report demonstrate how current heat mitigation policies do not result in adequate protections against heat-related illness for incarcerated people. The experiences of incarcerated people in Texas prisons illuminate systemic issues and patterns across units and also expand the understanding of heat-related illness and death as an ongoing but preventable disaster. Additionally, surveys and letters collected in 2020 reveal how the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted incarcerated populations in Texas, created further challenges to the individually focused heat mitigation strategies in Texas prisons. Incarcerated people have described the environment of extreme heat and the COVID-19 pandemic as a 'living hell.' Each section includes descriptions of how heat-mitigation practices were impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in addition to a separate section which provides a more in depth look at the relationship between the two hazards of extreme heat and COVID-19."

The Texas A&M University System, Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center
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Texas A&M University School of Architecture: https://tamucoa-juiceboxinteract.netdna-ssl.com/
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