Can I get a little air?

This week we will be talking about prisoners’ rights while incarcerated. Whether you like it or not, society has the responsibility to care for inmates once they are incarcerated by the state. That said this “care” is subjective and comes in various forms. Inmates don’t get cellphones, cable TV, and such. The state is required to feed, cloth and preserve the safety of each and every inmate.

But how far does this care go? There are numerous inmate lawsuit challenges to the quality of care provided to incarcerated inmates. One such suit challenges the conditions under which a group of inmates are being subjected. Check out this VIDEO/ARTICLE and let me know you thoughts on the subject. Agree/disagree and why.

12 responses to “Can I get a little air?”

  1. Michael Brody says:

    Obviously certain lawsuits have more weight than others. I think the case of the Navasota facility–Wallace Pack Unit–definitely carries some weight, requiring legal attention. I agree, that a prison facility’s inside temperature should not be at a 100 degrees. Likewise, inmates should not have to place a towel on the tables before they rest their elbows to sit because of the high surface temperature.

    As far as a solution, that is a tough decision and a potentially an expensive one if facilities/states are mandated to install air conditioning units. Perhaps big fans and windows that actually open could be a happy medium?

    Personally, I think the rights prisoners’ have to petition and bring suits against facilities/states is an essential right, but it can also be abused and wasted for suits that are deemed frivolous. This is not the case here. The pig comparison represents a stark finding, and paints a dire situation. Hopefully the civil rights project and U of T personnel took a good fight to court.

    In short, I believe inmates should not have any luxuries, however, they should be afforded the basic necessities to ensure they can serve their time humanely and not have to deal with excessive temperatures, which violate basic civil rights.

  2. Jessica Kaemerer says:

    I agree with the lawsuit about excessive heat. The prison has to take care of the prisoners basic needs and I believe no one should be forced to live in conditions over 100 degrees. And the fact that a lot of them are older inmates makes it worse because they have health conditions that could be bad if they are living like that. The only solution would be to install air conditioning, which will be expensive, but there is not a lot of options for lowering the temperature.

  3. Paxton Bergin says:

    I do not think that prison is suppose to be enjoyable. It is suppose to be a punishment for people who screwed up. With that being said however, I do not think that it is ethical for prisoners to spend time locked up in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees. I think the hardest part about making a decision wether or not this is ethical is deciding at what temperature it becomes excessive. I would personally say that 80 is a good temperature when I am outside with a mild breeze, but when it reaches 80 degrees inside (unless it is winter) it can be a little miserable. Prisoners should not have to suffer heat stroke while completing their sentences. In my opinion that would be cruel and unusual punishment… prohibited by our nations constitution.

  4. Kasey Miller says:

    I would have to agree with the lawsuit about the heat exhumation. To me, solitary confinement is really a strong form of torture and punishment to begin with. Sitting in an 8X8 cell by yourself with nothing to do for years would make any human being go crazy. As I do believe in punishment of these individuals for their crimes, I also believe they still have there rights. We should not be putting there lives at risk while they are incarcerated. If it truly is to hot in their, then I do believe something needs to be done to change this from happening in the near future. I think through testing, they can probably find the correct temperature where as the inmates will feel uncomfortable, but not harmful in any way possible.

  5. Brandon Layber says:

    Throughout the article “Texas inmates sue over lack of air conditioning” it is evident that there is a major problem with how prisoners are being treated. I personally believe the prisoners housing conditions can and should fall under cruel and unusual punishment law. It is recorded that the death of twenty inmates has a correlation or causation with the hot heat brought upon Wallace Pack Unit from the hot and dry Texas heat. The source of relief noted in the article is from little windows that personally do not help the prisoners in any fashion. Since this facility is poorly insolated, the humidity and heat become so hot during the summer, it is torturous. Not only have the prisoners complained, some correction officers have also complained that the heat is absurd. One guard, suffered heat exhaustion and dehydration while only working a standard eight-hour day. Bearable living conditions should be provided to these inmates where their main concern should not be about trying to breath better due to ridiculous climates within Wallace Pack Unit. In conclusion, prisoners should be provided a living facility where their health is not being put at risk on a day-to-day basis.

  6. Tim Dies says:

    I do think that it is a little outrageous that inmates have to sit in temperatures above 100 degrees with stainless steel table that can burn their skin. It is also deeply concerning when the correctional officers in the facility are also complaining of the heat and when one officer had actually gotten heat exhaustion from the temperatures. It makes no sense to me how the facility would spend time and money installing air conditioning in some parts of the prison while neglecting to put it into other parts of the prison. While I will agree that prison is a place where prisoners spend their time for committing crimes and the punishment should not include the most luxurious of conditions, basic air conditioning seems like something that is necessary, especially in a southern state like Texas.

  7. Adam Earle says:

    After reading this article, I am split between what to think. The temperatures over 100* don’t really scare me that much. I have done military training, landscaping and construction in about 100* in a lot higher humidity than Texas. Although that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that nothing should be done. I think that there are many other ways to keep cool other than spending money on air conditioners. The part that does scare me about the temperatures rising above 100* is if that is the air temperature, the temperatures in the concrete prison must be in a dangerous range.

  8. Sydney Hanick says:

    After watching the video and reading the article, I have been a bit more swayed than I was before on this issue. I have always believed that inmates are doing time for the things they have done and the conditions are part of the punishment. However, there are so many people in the country that are incarcerated for minor offenses that do not deserve to be put in these awful conditions. It is already punishing enough with the conditions they put up with in prison otherwise. There should be a better air cooling system.

  9. Katie Bucher says:

    I think that inmates should be granted air conditioning or fans. I think they are living in awful conditions and that is some form of cruel and unusual punishment. Although inmates have committed a crime and should not get benefits from being in prison, they still need some form of a cooling system because their have been deaths because of the heat and there are certain medical conditions that are effected by the heat.

  10. Trenisha Battiste says:

    I agree with the lawsuit also these prisoners are still human at the end of the day. But prisoners should expect to much because yet they are in prison for some time. You don’t get awards for being in prison. But they shouldn’t hold people as if they don’t have rights at all , they shouldn’t be held in confinement that long. By over doing their stay in confinement, they start to make themselves go crazy. They go crazy because they spend so much time, not talking and their minds begin to wonder.

  11. Shannon Lefebvre says:

    I think that inmates shouldn’t have to live with excessive heat. They should be given fans if not air conditioning. However, prison isn’t supposed to be enjoyable so they should have limited access to these things. This is a matter of health risks so it should be taken care of, but I don’t think air conditioning is always the only way.

  12. tiarra merrill says:

    I think that it is a thin line when it comes to imprisonment, yes they are imprison and stripped from certain rights but there should be some type of rewards it could be verbal rewards or none verbal, or necessities. The air conditioning thing is ridiculous, they shouldn’t have to live in a place where it is excessive heat; i was just watching prison break and it puzzle me to see that when the air stopped working they were forced to live in this excessive heat also even the workers were working in these conditions it is not safe. People die from these conditions. It is no surprise that inmates are living within some of the worse conditions. I think that they have been stripped enough of their dignity, freedom, etc they shouldn’t have to suffer more harsh treatment.

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