Heat has impact on state’s prisoners

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

To The Editor:

As I am sure you are aware, Alabama is in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in history.

We are reaching near record-breaking temperatures on an almost daily basis. We are hearing nightly about the concern for our pets, our plants, and the elderly.

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What about our loved ones who are currently incarcerated in the Alabama prison system?

Who is checking on them and making sure that they are not getting sick from the heat?

Who is making sure that they have something cool to drink?

The dorms at Kilby Correctional Facility were above 120 degrees last week with only an attic fan for cooling.

On at least one day that week, the inmates were denied adequate ice for cool drinks because they were running out of ice.

If we are supposed to bring our pets in from this kind of heat, and make sure the elderly have fans and cool drinks, what is being done for these human beings, who even though they may be prisoners, deserve humane treatment?

They at the very least deserve to be treated at least as well as, if not better than, animals.

This is a very serious concern and I, for one, would like to know what your plans are to help deal with the kind of heat wave we are having.

Just tonight on the news there was a segment about a county prison having to be closed and the inmates sent somewhere else solely due to the heat and lack of air conditioning.

Putting fans in the prison did not meet code. I am hoping that by making the public aware of this problem, perhaps someone will do something to help these people.

Even if they are prisoners, they are still people and they are still someone’s loved one.

Robbie Bartlett