Inmate Families Challenge Texas Lawmakers to Spend Three Minutes Inside Hot Prison Cell at State Capitol

AUSTIN — Criminal justice advocates are challenging state lawmakers to spend three minutes in a hot mobile prison cell that will be set up at the Texas Capitol next week. It's unclear who'll accept — and climb into a box that'll be heated to upward of 120 degrees.Texas Prisons Air-Conditioning Advocates, a group of inmates' families and other supporters, is hosting the "Beat the Heat Awareness Event" on Tuesday with the support of FAMM, a national criminal justice advocacy group. Casey Phillips, who helps lead TPAA, said lawmakers can't expect people to be rehabilitated upon release if they're treated poorly behind bars."The more we meet with legislators, the more we find out they really don't know what's going on behind the walls of TDCJ, and that's a problem," said Phillips, whose husband, Justin Phillips, is serving time on drug charges at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville. "We decided to have an awareness event to not only help educate them on the issue but to also give everyone the opportunity to experience what it's really like inside the Texas prisons during the summer."I mean you never know, it could be any one of us in their position one day. So, for those of you that don't think the heat is a problem, I dare you to come try it."  Continue reading...

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