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.