Prison inmates may be incarcerated because of a crime they committed, but that does not mean that they deserve to be treated as if they were not human. The state of Texas houses over 150,000 inmates each year during the hottest of the state’s summer heat. When nothing is done to prevent an inmate’s safety and a wrongful death occurs, actions may be taken against the facility by the family.
A recent report on the situation claims that there have been at least 14 reported inmate deaths inside the prisons. That is over two deaths each year between the 109 currently operating prisons in Texas. Several of the families of the 14 victims have filed wrongful-death claims against the prisons.
The heat in Texas can get into the 130 degree range at times. With the little air-conditioning inside the prisons, it was reported that the heat strokes and hypothermia deaths were due to the temperature conditions. There are standards and regulations that require all Texas jails and prisons to maintain a temperature of 85 degrees or under.
The death of a family member that is incarcerated can hit especially hard when the negligence is suspected to come from a facility that is governed by regulations that are supposed to maintain the health and wellness of both its employees and its inmates. When the health and safety of inmates are not upheld, a wrongful death can occur. The families of the victims may then be forced to decide if they will file wrongful-death claims against the facility.
Source: The New York Times, In Texas, Inmates and Officers Swelter, Lance Lowry, Nov. 21, 2013