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Attorneys Representing Police Misconduct Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for police misconduct injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by police miscponduct.

Police Misconduct Attorney – A Federal Judge Rules that a Prison in Rosharon, Texas, must Add Temporary Air-Conditioning for Heat-Sensitive Inmates

Friday, July 21st, 2017

BOT Complex, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Administrative Headquarters. (Source: Wikipedia)

The majority of prisons in Texas do not have air conditioning in inmate living areas, in spite of the sweltering heat in summer months. The Darrington Unit, a maximum-security prison built in 1917, is among them. It is located in Rosharon, about 30 miles southwest of Houston. There’s nothing about this particular prison to necessarily distinguish it from others, as far as the need to give relief to at-risk inmates. Regardless of that lack of distinction, on July 19, 2017, Keith Ellison, federal district judge in Houston, ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide inmates in the Pack Unit with air conditioning within 15 days. Medically sensitive inmates are housed in that part of The Darrington Unit.

The state announced that it is appealing the temporary order, which has a 90-day expiration date.

One of the considerations in the appeals court will be whether this matter should be a class-action suit applying to the entire prison system, as opposed to only those in Rosharon.

The matter is expected to go to trial. Judge Ellison said that he thinks his order will probably stand, which means permanent changes can be expected for Pack Unit inmates.

In the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made a statement saying it is unnecessary to take on the exorbitant cost of air conditioning systems and the electricity required to operate them. In addition, air conditioning is not mandated by the constitution. He expressed confidence that TDCJ is doing everything required to give adequate protection from the heat and to provide safeguards from heat-related illnesses. Fans and unlimited access to ice are among the measures that currently provide relief to prison inmates at The Darrington Unit, which some inmates say is a big improvement over 8 years ago.

In Texas prisons, research indicates that there have been 23 fatalities and hundreds of illnesses related to heat since 1998.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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