State of Texas Spent $7 Million to Not Install Air Conditioning in Prison

The State of Texas spent $7 million to defend their stance in a lawsuit to not install air conditioning in the Wallace Pack Unit.

A lawsuit was filed in 2014 against TDCJ over the non-air conditioned conditions at the Wallace Pack Unit.  The Wallace Pack Unit houses medical vulnerable, frail and senior inmates that are more susceptible to heat stroke than healthier inmates.

During the 2011 Texas heat wave, at least 10 inmates died of heat stroke in Texas prisons within a two-month span.  Four heat-related injuries were reported just last week during the 2018 heat wave when temperatures rose above 110 degrees in some areas of Texas.

Texas has spent more than $7 million in the years-long lawsuit over installing air conditioning in the housing areas.  The lawsuit settled earlier this year and air conditioning is now in place in the unit.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said last summer that expensive air conditioning system is not necessary because inmate’s access to water and fans were adequate. He claims that “heat is a part of life.”

Instead of defending the lawsuit, that $7 million would go a long way to adding air-conditioning at several state prisons.


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Lawyer X
Lawyer X is the pen name of a former attorney who now spends all of his time writing and consulting. While in practice he was involved in both criminal and civil trials across the United States, including picking or helping to pick juries in hundreds of civil and criminal cases. In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Lawyer X wrote articles, lectured at continuing legal education seminars, and was active in the legal community in many ways. He maintains anonymity now so that he can provide knowledge from inside and express honest opinions and viewpoints that other members of the legal community would just as soon weren't shared.