Monday, December 23, 2013

Louisiana State Prison court decision could be predictor of Texas litigation

By Duane Stuart, Backgate Website

The Texas Prison Project along with the AFSCME filed litigation in federal court in Texas that if found valid could require all Texas prisons to be air conditioned in coming years. That case, which has not yet been heard in Texas, would cost taxpayers millions to comply with. Similar litigation in Louisiana regarding the same issues was heard in recent weeks and found to be valid by the court. Louisiana will now be required to ensure that all of their prisons are kept below 88 degrees at all times. That practice was initiated in recent years by the Texas Jail Commission regarding all Texas jails, but state prisons did not fall into the requirement. If past judgement reflects those of the future we can expect Texas will also be required to fall in line with the Louisiana decision.

To see the entire Louisiana suit as filed, click the link below;

Louisiana Suit

Happy Holidays from the Backgate

Be safe out there !

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yoga offered in some Texas prisons? Say it aint so..

From our friends over the Grits for Breakfast Blog......

Yoga in Texas prisons limited by religion

Brandi Grissom at the Tribune has an interesting piece up on volunteer-led yoga offerings at TDCJ, but this bit stuck out at me: "the criminal justice department classifies yoga as a religious offering ... so at some prison units, only inmates who identify themselves as practitioners of Eastern religions like Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism are allowed to attend."

That's pretty silly. In 21st century America, yoga has become utterly secularized and only a small percentage of those practicing it are adherents of Eastern religions. From the research I've seen, yoga and meditation have positive effects on in-prison behavior and recidivism, so limiting participation by one's declared religion to me seems like a counterproductive choice by TDCJ.