Summer in Texas prisons are deadly. We don’t use our mattresses to sleep on. We can’t. We have to use them as a barricade. It is pushed up against the wall that has been absorbing the sun’s heat from 1 pm until dusk. I hate sleeping on a sheet of steel. The sad thing is I’d rather sleep on steel than touch the wall. It’s too hot.
Have you ever stepped on the sidewalk in August on a sunny day? It burned your feet? Well, my wall is concrete that has been in the August heat on April day. It is just as hot.
The public servants that work here are almost in as much danger as the prisoners. They collapse from heat exhaustion several times a year just like the prisoners. The news reports the deaths of kids trapping cars in the heat, but we aren’t kids. We are trapped in a box with a window with the same sun turning our cells into ovens.
This is going to sound like an exaggeration…but it’s not. When we walk into our cells we put our hand up in front of our faces–just like one does when one opens a hot oven–to block the heat from our face. It is so hot you never stop sweating.
Judge Keith Ellision is a US District Judge that ruled it is a threat to the lives of prisoners. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) told Judge Ellision that the prisoners have access to heart respite areas. What a joke. This unit and its Administration along with the executive director Byron Collier, and Chairman of the Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ) Patrick O’Daniel has been made aware of the lack of access to respite areas. The letter I sent to them was emailed to the warden I was informing them of. Warden Pittman is a slick talker [sic]. She is going to deny us the only hope we have of relief from the heat and the executives are going to tell her the prisoners are struggling for relief above her head.
The policy that states we have access to relief is Administrative Directive (AD) 10.64. It is posted on the TDCJ website for all to see the efforts TDCJ is doing to provide relief. It is all smoke and mirrors. I haven’t been able to go for several days now.
I hate to be so negative about this but try staying In a car for hours with no air conditioning. It gets to be unbearable. It is our existence from day to day here. We struggle to live through each day…day after day.
I live in an oven and I can’t figure out how to turn down the heat.
Lucus Morgan 1500023
1100 FM 655
I Live in an Oven…Please Help me Turn it Off!!!
Rosharon, TX 77583