Texas Prison Reaches 149 Degrees Amid Ongoing Heat Issues

By Ginny Reese

July 25, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Texas does not have universal air conditioning in state prisons, causing the sweltering summer heat to linger indoors.

WFAA reported that temperatures inside the prisons regularly reach 110 degrees. According to a July study from the Texas A&M University Hazard Reduction & Recovery center, at least one unit topped out at a sweltering 149 degrees.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said that the average temperature of a unit housing area in a prison without air conditioning is usually around 89.2 degrees. The average for the first 11 days of July was 91.4 degrees.

A risk management training article from TDCJ stated that someone can start feeling the impact of heat exhaustion at as low as 80 degrees. The added risk of heat strokes begins at 91 degrees.

According to the Texas A&M study, there have been 23 documented heat-related deaths of incarcerated people recorded by the TDCJ since 1998.

Of the state's nearly 100 prison facilities, 70 percent of them do not have air conditioning.

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