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Texas Prisoners Describe Nightmarish Conditions, Exposure to Floodwaters Following Harvey – September 8, 2017

Superstorm takes toll on prison populations living in shadow of state's fossil fuel industry

graphic depicting a prison

A set of emails obtained by Truthout and Earth Island Journal describe nightmarish conditions inside the federal prison complex in Beaumont, Texas, after flooding last week cut off power — including air-conditioning — and the water supply. The emails were sent via Corrlinks, an email system used by federal prisoners.

The emails reveal morbid conditions endured by prisoners living under lockdown after Hurricane Harvey, then downgraded to a tropical depression, dropped 35 inches of rain on the area. Truthout redacted identifying information due to the danger of retaliation by prison officials. Since the storm, the prisoners have… more

by: Candice Bernd

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‘Cruel and Unusual’: Texas Prisoners Face Deadly Heat and Contaminated Water – August 8, 2017

Lawsuit alleges that prisoners must drink comious amounts of lead- and copper-tained water to cope with high temperatures

graphic depicting a prison

As a federal judge ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to cool down one of its prison units for the sake of its elderly and sick residents' health, plaintiffs at another Texas prison are hoping to see a similar victory in their own challenges to deadly heat and toxic water at their unit.

Judge Keith Ellison ordered TDCJ to come up with a plan to keep heat-sensitive prisoners at the Wallace Pack Unit near Navasota, Texas, at a maximum temperature of 88 degrees, and provide ready access to respite areas for the unit's other prisoners. It's… more

by: Candice Bernd

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US Is Locking Immigrants in Toxic Detention Centers – July 31, 2017

From Washington to Texas, climate refugees detained in contaminated jails are victims of environmental injustice

graphic depicting a prison

In April, the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, again made headlines after more than 100 immigrant detainees launched a hunger strike to protest the conditions inside the for-profit immigration jail.

The demands reflected many of the concerns originally raised by detainees when they went on strike in 2014: abuse from guards, maggoty food, inadequate access to medical care and exorbitant commissary prices, to name a few. The detainees were also protesting the fact that they were running the prison's basic services for wages of just $1 a day, some reportedly receiving only a bag of chips… more

by: Candice Bernd

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Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Texas Prisoners Becoming Casualties of Climate Denial – June 12, 2017

Dangerous prison conditions likely to worsen as heat waves intensify with climate change

graphic depicting a prison

On a spring day in May, temperatures in Dallas, Texas, were already in the 90s. Sunlight glinted off the barbed wire perimeter outside the Hutchins State Jail, located just a mile down the road from Hutchins High School. The first blooms of Castilleja, colloquially known here as "prairie fire," seemed to set a field across from the prison ablaze.

It was hot outside, but it was nothing compared to the temperatures inside the Hutchins Unit, one of 79 state-run prison units still lacking air-conditioning in its cellblocks in 2017. Even those temperatures, though, still pale further in… more

by: Candice Bernd

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Lockdown at Trans-Pecos Pipeline Site Consecrates New Indigenous Resistance Camp – January 11, 2017

West Texas Water Protectors aim to protect Rio Grande, sacred sites

An Indigenous Water Protector and an Alpine, Texas, resident were arrested Saturday morning after locking themselves to pipe-laying equipment at an Energy Transfer Partner (ETP) easement and work site in Presidio County, Texas. The lockdown temporarily halted construction on the company's 143-mile Trans-Pecos pipeline that, if completed, would carry 1.4 billion cubic feet of fracked gas from West Texas to Mexico every day.

Frankie Orona with the Society of Native Nations speaks with Truthout as an Indigenous Water Protector and an Alpine, Texas, resident lock themselves to pipe-laying equipment, temporarily shutting the site down, Saturday, January 7, 2017. (Photo: Garrett Graham)photo by Garrett GrahamFrankie Orona… more

by: Candice Bernd

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