Friday, June 14, 2013

Does un-air-conditioned Texas Prisons equal cruel and unusual punishment for inmates ?

By Doug Glass, Backgate Website

The Grits for Breakfast blog has explored some thoughts that the Texas heat may present a form cruel and unusual punishment for Texas Prison inmates. Some Texas prisons have been known to reach upwards of 120 degrees inside during the summer months. This was the basis of a lawsuit filed in 2011 regarding the death of an inmate that was alleged to have died of heat related issues in an East Texas prison. Numerous employee heat related issues have also been common place over the years as referenced by TDCJ's own office of risk management. So should Texas prisons be cooled ?


Read the Grits for Breakfast Blog story here!  





36 comments:

  1. No need for air cost to much and some prisons aren't insulated enough to preform. Increase ventilation and circulation of the air

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  2. Next we will hand out each inmate a menu at chow time. Lets see should I have shrimp, steak or lobster today. Put their asses back in the fields all day. That will decrease inmates coming back. Next Co's will be fluffing each offenders pillow. Make sure that child or woman that got raped has good working A/C first.

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    1. Wake up! Only a very small prentage of inmates are violent offenders. Most are people who are locked up for expressing what should be their inherent right to possess and/or sell drugs to other consenting adults.

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    2. Wake up! Only a very small prentage of inmates are violent offenders. Most are people who are locked up for expressing what should be their inherent right to possess and/or sell drugs to other consenting adults.

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  3. 70% of of the prison population in Texas is for nonviolent offenses. An estimated 3 to 5 percent of the prison population is wrongfully convicted. So, only about 28% to 25% of the prison population fits your description of rapists (or worse). That is a whole lot of suffering for a small group of people. Just saying.

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    2. I don't know where you are getting your statistics, but just because their crime was non-violent that don't meant the inmate aint violent. How many units have you actually worked on or in day to day and got blasted by an inmate.

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  4. I say have air conditioning for all employees. Forget about all of the inmates. ALL OF THEM. Prison isn't meant to be comfortable, even for the "nonviolent offenders." A person has to earn his/her way into prison as most who are sent to prison have an extensive arrest record. Has anybody ever bothered to look at their travel cards? Why do people worry about these convicts? You know, the ones that chunk feces, semen, spit, urine, etc. on an officer. Why isn't anybody defending the worker's right? Oh, yes, that's right, there's no money in it. Whereas these hug-a-thugs can get rich on the tax-payers dime defending and protecting a criminal.

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    1. There is a good reason why most officers are not allowed to see travel cards. We are not there to punish, we are there to protect the free world, and for most positions, knowing offenses does not enhance our ability to do so.

      Also, how do you suppose to give air conditioning to all employees without giving it to the offenders? The officers actually out on the runs and in the dorms doing their jobs will always be sweaty and the scrubs sleeping in a control picket will be nice and cool I guess. Perhaps if we gave out merit raises based on the amount of dried sweat at the end of a shift things would be different.

      My opinion about A/C: Fights, OPIs, employees falling out all increase in the summer. If we can reduce all three by adding some type of cooling (chillers, misters, A/C, increased air flow, whatever) it will make our jobs easier without compromising security, even if it does make the offenders more comfortable. Honestly, I'd rather have better working conditions (equipment that actually worked, more comfortable uniforms, better temps, etc) than a pay raise.

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    2. ^ Smartest comment I've read in a while. One interesting thing I've researched is that once the temperature gets too hot, violent crime tends to decrease. Maybe that's TDCJ's strategy. Keep it incredibly hot where it doesn't feel comfortable to move.

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    3. yes I must say, all they do is lay around when its too hot, but not all of them. we have too many cry babies in TDCJ inmates and officers. when I started a/c was unheard of for anyone but administration blgs and rank officials. after 20 yrs, I am still alive through all the tx heat...work smarter not harder

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  5. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    The convicts don't seem to be too hot when it comes time to having sex with the CO's. Maybe it's not uncomfortable enough?

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    1. NO ITS THE OTHER WAY AROUND ITS THE CO'S HAVING SEX WITH THEM, DONT BLAME THE INMATES FOR THESE CROOKED CO'S

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  6. If each inmate would blow each other, it would cool them down.

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  7. I work at one of the Prisons where the temps reach well over the 100's in mid summer. It makes for miserable working conditions. I would be more than thrilled if they could figure out a way to keep temps from rising above 90. It doesn't have to be comfortable, just bearable.

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  8. Walmart has the best prices and A/C. Go get some A/C else were. You did not pick a office job. So no surprise at TDCJ. At Jester 3 the Warden used to turn the line back in before 10:00 am. So Ray-Ray would not burn up outside. Now the line never turns out at Jester 3. New Warden no better than the last non-English speaking Warden. Speed up death row and that will make new beds. Go get some of that oil field money.

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    1. AMEN ! and jester 4 aint no better at speaking English, I don't see how them facilities run down there

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  9. What language did the last Warden speak??

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  10. African native, he had to repeat three times what he said. When you still could not make out what he said he would just walk off. He moved back to Africa to hunt lions.

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  11. Wuuuuuuuuuuuut. Okay, Wake the hell up. I work a 2250 and 71% are molesters, rapists and murderers. So get your facts straight.
    I hear a pillow fluffer talking.
    Though we choose to work here all I hear in turnout is make sure they have ice water and air. What about the CO who's wearing a protective vest for 12 hours and walking 3 flights of stairs hourly?

    Our warden turns off the A/C in the main building so turn out is 120 degrees and half the lights in the building. Saving that penny.....LOL

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    1. 1. You do realize that your 2250 only represents less than 2% of the overall number of offenders doing time in Texas, right? 2250s will also house a higher percentage of violent offenders than other units, just as units that have SOTP will have more molesters. You supposed 71% of molesters, rapists, and murders does not contradict 9:44's figures.

      2. Unless you are working in one of several positions, it is doubtful you truly know the actual percentages of what offenses are housed on your unit. It is with good reason most line staff are not allowed to view travel cards and know offenses.

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    2. Since when is not having AC "punishment?" The point about the offenses was given to show that the majority of offenders are law breakers who cannot function in today's society and who have EARNED their way into prison by their law-breaking and vicitmizing ways; and, as such, prison should neither be attractive to them nor a comfortable place for them to be. Besides, offenses are public record and can be viewed easily with a TDCJ number (or other identifying information) on the TDCJ website, travel card unnecessary, line staff or not.

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    3. I wonder how many TDCJ employees smoke weed, drive intoxicated, own illegal weapons, hit their wives, lie on their income taxes, and commit any other number of offenses? The problem with our society isn't so much that we hate people who commit crimes, but we hate people who get caught committing crimes. And no, I am not comparing rape, murder and molesting to drugs offenses, but that is the point. People act like everyone in prison did violent crimes and the statistics show that less than half (closer to 1/3) are actually in for violent crimes, but TDCJ (and probably prisons across the countries) treat all offenders as though they are violent offenders. What did that guy we all love so much say? Oh yea ... "He is without sins throw the first stone." I suppose all the guards should put their stones down. Hello Pot, it's the Kettle calling.

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    4. 10:53, I'm sure he/she sat at home looking up every offender on the unit to come up with his figure. Having the information available on the internet does not change the fact that most positions do not need to know the offense of the offenders they are watching, and SHOULD NOT know.

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    5. If the prisons are not given air conditioning, inmates will die and the State will have to pay families millions of dollars. Which is cheaper? Resident taxes will go up, services for residents will stop and the world will find Texas a laughing stock of the USA. This is why no state took Gov. Perry serious when he tried to run for President of the USA.
      So what will it be, millions spent on families of the dead, or thousands to install air conditioning? I am glad I do not live in Texas!!!!!

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  13. You ever notice how all the people that tell us to "suck it up" and do our job no matter the temperature are the ones that never leave their air conditioned caves? Yeah, I know "most" of them did their stint in the heat which is all the more reason for them to know firsthand how unbearable it gets on the buildings. Telling us to stay hydrated when the water out of the faucets tastes like the bottom of a swamp and we can't even get ice to the buildings unless we get it ourselves is not the solution. Offenders be damned, we officers need the air conditioning just to survive a shift in this heat. If the inmates get some too that's just the way it is. Look it - they already got flat screen tvs, basic cable, and now the right to grow facial hair so why not put in air conditioning? At least give US some ventilation.

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    1. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

      So you want ventilation? Walk a little faster and the wind will ventilate you. If you run you will be very ventilated. Another problem solved by BoBoTheBeaten.

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    2. I agree- -but "some" officers barely WALK, let alone walk fast or run, LOL

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    3. lol bo bo... I WILL TELL U TO SUCK IT UP
      and I am an OFFICER that works ad seg and hot ass 11 bld and has worked the hot ass buildings with no air SUCK IT UP, im so tired of the crybabies in TDCJ.. u want a/c find another job... tdcj may not be for you, only the strong survive. I DONT WANT A/C leave the prison just how it is, make it unbearable...maybe some of the ones that just want to sit around will leave and the ones that just want to show up will leave, and the cry babies will leave.. then we can revamp a few things

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  14. Give each offender a hand help fan, with a water bottle. To mist his sorry ass. They already wear boxers and wife beater shirts. Let us wear shorts. Look UPS, FedEx and US postal workers wear shorts. Now big moma , no hooker shorts. Shorts that go below the knee.

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  16. Not only should they not have A/C, they should turn the heat on IN THE SUMMER and keep it at 120 degrees or higher daily. In fact, just make it 200 degrees, fry the pieces of crap and save the taxpayers the money.

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  17. Justin I am sooo SORRY you have such inhumane feelings against the offender population. I pray that you NEVER end up in prison. We all have skeletons in our closets and I think it is shameful that you work for TDCJ. You are perfect example of cruel and extrordinary punishment by unit officials. I will pray for you.

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    1. I hope he does end up there,then we'll see what a wise ass he is,JUST SAYING!!!!

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    2. There are a lot of people that don't belong in prison. BUT the murderers and rapists deserve to fry.

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