Saturday, July 11, 2015

Officials point fingers as Abilene prisons' mid-summer water outages challenge heat-mitigation tactics

A pair of prisons in Abilene have suffered from low water pressure since Wednesday, and TDCJ and local officials are pointing fingers regarding who's to blame. Reported KTXS-TV:
Jason Clark, the director of public information for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, confirmed water pressure has been low since Wednesday.

Clark said water use is being restricted -- showers and laundry are limited, and water to some buildings is being shut off intermittently.

“When the water is off to those buildings, obviously the persons cannot flush the toilet at that point, but once it comes back on they have the ability to do that,” Clark said. “We're just ensuring we restrict water so we can keep that water pressure up.”

The TDCJ and the city of Abilene are working on the problem. Both say the issue is the other’s responsibility.

“It does not appear at this time that it's [the problem’s] on our property, so they continue to investigate that,” Clark said.

“We suspect there is an issue on their side of the meter,” Rodney Taylor, interim director of water utilities, said. “We really don't have access on that side of the meter to help them resolve the issue.”
Long-time readers may recall that TDCJ is Abilene's largest water user, by far.

This news comes on the heels of a related 5th Circuit ruling. As the Austin Statesman reported, "Wednesday’s appeals court decision said Louisiana prisons could avoid heat-related cruel and unusual punishment by cooling common areas and supplying personal ice containers and ample cold water."

The weather forecast in Abilene predicts highs of 95-99 degrees Fahrenheit over the next few days. How exactly will TDCJ provide ice or cold water if there's not enough water to flush the toilets?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

the ASPCA spends more money on feeding animals than TDCJ spends on inmates. They are receiving donated fans in Henderson county to keep those animals cool during upcoming heat expectations due to not having air conditioning in their facility. TDCJ doesn't give a damn about any of their inmates health, its a money machine for depressed rural economies needing jobs for county residents. Their training is minimal and obviously their intellect is too...just sayin...

PAPA said...

plus most of the guards will not haul ice/water around to inmates even if they are told, then the inmate has a 4 oz cup if they even have that to get ice and water to last for the entire day in the Texas melting heat...give me a break...the Texas heat is a killing machine and everyone knows it and that is why they will NOT do anything about the heat issue and then they poison them with farm contaiminated water that the Inmates have no choice but to drink...see all the water issues with the women prisons and how many of the women have been seriously ill due to the water....need I say anything more...just think the Good News is those that abuse or neglect animals get to go spend time in one of the prisons that could care less about humans...

Michael W. Jewell, President, Texas CURE said...

So far this year The Texas CURE Fan Program has provided more than 900 fans to indigent TDCJ inmates at a cost of over $12,000. There are approximately 156,000 inmates currently confined in TDCJ, a third or more of which are indigent. Texas CURE is 501 c3 nonprofit inmate/inmate family support group. Grits readers can donate to the Fan Program here: http://www.gofundme.com/TEXAS-PRISONERS-NEED-FANS

Water shortages like the one currently plaguing the Roberson and Middleton units in Abilene occur at one unit or another every summer. Some shortages are caused by insufficient local water reserves. Others, on the older units, are caused by dilapidated plumbing systems. Last week Texas CURE received a notice that had been posted on day-room bulletin boards at the Eastham unit near Lovelady, TX: UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE ALL DRINKING WATER MUST BE BOILED. Problem with that is that the "hot pots" sold in the commissary only reach 146 degrees or less, and indigent inmates do not have hot pots. One inmate reported that when he explained to a lieutenant that hot pots were incapable of boiling water, the lieutenant replied, "They get hot enough to kill whatever is in the water." Does that include norovirus that plagues several units every year?


Shingshang Fung said...

good post..

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