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Texas prisons

As Summer Temperatures Climb, Most Texas Prisons Aren’t Air-Conditioned

Jun 11, 2019
Texas Department of Criminal Justice

In 2018, after a years-long lawsuit, the state of Texas installed air-conditioning at the Wallace Pack prison southeast of College Station, as part of a settlement with inmates. But within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, there are just 29 facilities with air-conditioned beds.


From Texas Standard:

For Texas inmates who've been denied dentures by the state, a reprieve may now come thanks to 3D printing. This comes after an investigation by the Houston Chronicle earlier this year that detailed how difficult it was for many Texas state prisoners to get dentures they said they needed to do daily tasks, like eat and speak.

From Texas Standard.

A woman who once oversaw the youthful offenders program at a Texas prison in Brazoria alleges that “a culture of cover-up” exists at the state’s Department of Criminal Justice, or TDCJ. The would-be whistleblower told Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News that Texas teens who are placed in the program are in danger, because of a cycle of abuse. The concerns detailed by former program supervisor Dominique Mitchell have been ignored and reporting of incidents discouraged, according to Mitchell.

From Texas Standard:

Stephanie Garcia is a high school student. She’s also a 24-year-old inmate at the Lockhart Correctional Facility, a minimum-security women’s prison in Central Texas. Outside, her life was hectic, but here, every day is the same.

From Texas Standard:

Walking outside lately, you've probably noticed Texas' triple-digit temperatures. For those living or working in some of the state's prisons, going outside isn't even required to feel the heat, because some units do not have air-conditioning. Inmates have sued to get some relief, and this week they were handed a victory of sorts.

From Texas Standard:

President Obama has commuted the sentences of more federal inmates than the last ten presidents combined. Many of those who saw their sentence shortened are from Texas, mostly doing time on drug-related charges. They've all accepted the Obama administration's offer – until now.

At at a low-security prison in Beaumont, one inmate said no.

 


A group of inmates in Texas is suing the state prison system, the nation's largest, arguing that extreme heat is killing older and infirm convicts. The inmates allege it constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" and they're asking the courts for relief.

Why Texas Could Close Even More Prisons

Aug 23, 2016

From Texas Standard:

The federal government announced that it's phasing out its use of privately run prisons and now, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is warning that it too could close prisons, lay off 1,200 employees and stop providing certain inmate services – but not because of privatization.

Mike Ward, Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle, says, like other states, Texas has fewer inmates now than in recent years.

 


Texas Inmates Protest 'Inhumane' Conditions

Apr 12, 2016

Inmates in seven Texas state prisons have gone on strike, protesting what they call inhumane living and working conditions. The action began last Monday, with dozens of inmates refusing to leave their cells. Within a day, a general lockdown was imposed, rendering the strike moot. That lockdown is still in effect.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Under a new policy change, transgender inmates in Texas prisons will be able to receive hormone therapy while behind bars.  It’s a move that advocates are calling a positive step, but far from ideal.

 

 

Prior to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s recent change, only inmates taking hormones before their incarceration could be placed on hormone therapy in prison.  The agency’s Jason Clark said the change came after the American Psychiatric Association listed gender dysphoria as a diagnosable disease.

 

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