skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

People in TX prisons claim heat-related health effects, demand air conditioning

play audio
Play

Wednesday, May 15, 2024   

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is facing a class action lawsuit calling for the agency to add central air conditioning to all its prisons.

Only 30% of the prisons in Texas have central air, and advocates say the sweltering summer heat is inhumane and impacts the physical and emotional health of people who are incarcerated. Four organizations, including the Lioness Justice Impacted Women's Alliance, are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Marci Marie Simmons, community outreach coordinator with the Alliance, said during her 10 years at the Dr. Lane Murray Unitin Gatesville, she was concerned about her health and the health of other women.

"I remember worrying about the insides of my body, like, 'What is this heat doing to my organs?' I watched older women have a really hard time in the summer. I watched women fall out with heat-induced seizures, " she explained.

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require all Texas prisons have air conditioning by 2029, but the prison system only has to comply if the state provides the funding.

Over the last 10 years, 13 heat-related deaths have been documented in men's prisons in Texas. According to TDCJ policy, when the heat index is above 90 degrees, additional water, ice and cups are provided to people in prison, who also can wear shorts and t-shirts. In certain cases, they can receive permission to go into one of the designated air-conditioned spaces.

Simmons said about 90,000 people behind bars across the state don't have access to cool air.

"The lawsuit is asking for the same regulations that are on jails, which is to keep the temperatures between 65 degrees and 85 degrees. Currently about 30% of beds have climate control," she continued.

The Lone Star State is one of at least 13 in the country where all facilities are not air conditioned. Texas experienced the 2nd hottest summer on record last year and climate experts predict this year will be just as bad or worse.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …


Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …


During Latino Advocacy Week, Hispanic Access Foundation members met with lawmakers to promote equity in the upcoming Farm Bill. (Evelyn Ramirez/Hispanic Access Foundation)

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says a law change, which includes updating the state's public waters list, could provide protections for at least 640 miles of additional waterways across the state. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

What might seem like an under-the-radar administrative task could end up being a lifesaver for Minnesota waterways in need of safeguards against agric…

Social Issues

play sound

Two years ago today, a teenager killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The families of those shot and killed have …

Social Issues

play sound

Amid nationwide labor shortages and high turnover, employment experts say fostering an equitable workplace is key to finding and retaining workers…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021