As the Lone Star State continues to bake in scorching record heat, people in Texas jails suffer in temperatures reaching 118 degrees without air-conditioning and some, reportedly, without enough water. In fact, according to KXAN, the majority of inmates in Texas are experiencing "dangerous and disturbing conditions inside their cells."
"I'm having a really hard time breathing right now," said one woman in an email obtained by Nexstar.
"It's so humid you can't breath," she said. "We were in AC for shakedown yesterday all morning and when we came back it was 118 degrees in here and going from AC to that made me sick to the point I threw up my electrolyte drink and I just felt sick and nauseous all day… not sure how long ima last here in the heat."
According to another inmate, "We are still not getting water … They don't give us respite at all. It's very hot, we only have one big fan. They don't give us respite showers AT ALL."
And Dr. Amite Dominick, president of Texas Prison Community Advocates, said the miserable prison conditions are causing inmates to faint and have seizures.
"The incarcerated people are not receiving water like they should be receiving it. They're not getting showers. People are just passing out there. I'm hearing an uptick in seizure activity from incarcerated individuals and their family members… there's nothing for them," she said.
"There's supposed to be respite areas that some units are saying doesn't exist, even though they have to legitimately exist. What I'm hearing is there's not enough staff to go around to fill the water buckets. And there's no ice in these waters. Folks are just excruciatingly miserable right now. They're hurting."
Of the 100 units TDCJ operates, 14 have no air conditioning. Fifty-five units have "partial" AC, meaning they have "respite areas" such as cooled chapels, but do not provide AC in the cellblocks. …
Some lawmakers at the Texas Capitol have tried and failed to take further efforts. State Rep. Carl Sherman, D-DeSoto, filed legislation in the last legislative session to mandate universal air conditioning in Texas' prisons. It passed unanimously out of the House Corrections Committee, but did not receive a debate in the full House.
"We as a state are all complicit in this. If we're paying our tax dollars to house individuals who have been incarcerated under the custody of the state, and they're in conditions that are worse than our animal shelters. I think we're accountable for that," he said. "We have the resources and we still have surplus, but there is not a will to provide AC in the housing units. So, you know it's intentional."
Of course cruel climate-change denier Gov. Greg Abbott is too busy tricking migrants with bus ride pranks and fighting against sensible gun restrictions in a state that has seen its fair share of devastating mass shootings to worry about people suffering in unbearable heat.