Dubbed the worst heat wave in recent U.S. history, record high temperatures scorched the country. With soaring humidity levels, the hot weather became unbearable for many. Cases of heat illness and heat stroke were rampant. Some turned out deadly and fatalities have been reported in connection with the recent heat wave.
Heat does not stop at the prison gate. Many of the nation’s correctiosnal facilities are old and do not have automatic climate control. It’s no wonder that the mercury can rise well over 100°F behind prison walls. Vocational rehab areas, sleeping and dining areas can turn into deadly heat traps. Wardens and officers are exposed to the danger of overheating. Elderly inmates, disabled inmates, inmates with certain medical conditions and inmates on certain types of medications are at a particularly high risk of heat injury.
Some prisoners state it feels like sitting in an oven––slowly cooking alive. The Eighth Amendment protects from cruel and unusual punishment. Many believe that the exposure to unusually high and uncontrolled temperatures violates prisoners’ human and constitutional rights. The danger of unmanaged heat is real with manifold risks. It’s wise to mitigate them before it is too late.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), for example, had to face a settlement of a lawsuit brought by inmates over excessive heat and install air conditioning in a prison near Navasota. The settlement required TDCJ to install temporary air conditioning at the Wallace Pack Unit by April 2018 and, subject to legislative approval, to install permanent air conditioning by May 2020.
Breezer Mobile Cooling manufactures innovative cooling solutions to reduce heat-related incidents, improve overall temperature, create safe environments and keep officers’ and inmates’ morale up. Our air coolers are self-contained, hard-wearing and portable. They are equipped with sturdy locking hasps for additional safety and security. Breezer Mobile Cooling products provide relief at a fraction of the cost of centralized air conditioners and are proven in the corrections environment.
Everyone deserves to be cool. Officers and inmates alike. It is essential to take action now, as heat-related incidents and deaths may occur, along with costly lawsuits. Learn more about our portable cooling solutions and the difference they can make in your facility here.