19 Jul RELEASE: Federal judge orders State of Texas to address prison heat

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Contact: Zenen Jaimes Perez, Communications Director
Phone: 512.474.5073 ext. 116
Email: zenen@texascivilrightsproject.org

RELEASE: Federal judge orders State of Texas to address prison heat

TCRP, alongside Edwards Law, sued for more humane conditions on behalf of six inmates at the Wallace Pack Unit near Houston

Read the opinion here.

Houston, TX — Today, Judge Keith P. Ellison issued “a searing 100-page rebuke of the Texas prison system” which ordered state officials to to draft a plan within 15 days to cool the living spaces to no more than 88 degrees for vulnerable inmates in the Wallace Pack Unit near Houston.

TCRP aims to end the brutal heat conditions faced by inmates in Texas’ prisons. Since 1998, 22 people have died as a result of indoor weather conditions at 15 Texas prisons. In partnership with Edwards Law, we fought to end the sweltering heat conditions.

We are committed to continuing to demand the rights and dignity of people in Texas’ criminal justice system.

Wallis Nader, a staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said:
“All Texans, regardless of whether they are incarcerated, deserve dignity and respect. The inadequate cooling mechanisms provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in the past offered no real protection to the individuals inside — human beings have been baked inside Texas prisons.

We will be diligent to ensure that today’s ruling is enforced and that the Wallace Pack inmates get relief from rising temperatures. It’s up to everyone in Texas to shine light on our broken criminal justice system, particularly the inhumane conditions faced by thousands of prisoners every day.”

Read the opinion here.



The Texas Civil Rights Project uses legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change. In its twenty-five year history, TCRP has brought thousands of strategic lawsuits, defending voting rights, fighting institutional discrimination, and reforming systems of criminal justice. Today — with dozens of high-caliber attorneys and professionals in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, and an extensive network of pro bono counsel and community allies — TCRP is among the most influential civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State.