Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Sweltering Texas Prison

A tentative settlement agreement has been reached in a civil rights lawsuit in which attorneys for inmates at a Southeast Texas prison said sweltering summer heat was endangering the inmates' health, both sides announced Friday.The agreement would call for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to guarantee air conditioning for 1,400 inmates of the Wallace Pack Unit covered by the lawsuit, said Jeff Edwards of Austin, the inmates' attorney. Temporary arrangements would be made for air conditioning this summer and a permanent solution thereafter, he said.Prison system spokesman Jason Clark said the deal would provide additional safeguards for Pack Unit inmates susceptible to extreme heat. He said the specifics haven't been finalized and he declined to comment further.U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison plans a hearing next month in Houston to approve the settlement, Edwards said.  Continue reading...

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