Friday, November 3, 2017

"Cooking them to Death": the Lethal Toll of Hot Prisons
"...Although there are no national figures on how many prisoners die of heat illness, horror stories emerge every summer: inmates screaming 'Help us!' out of the windows of a St. Louis jail; New Hampshire men flooding their scorching cells to cool them down; Arizona prisoners whose shoes melt in the sun.

A growing segment of the incarcerated population is especially heat-sensitive. Jails and prisons house an increasing number of people with mental illness; as many as one in five Texas prisoners are prescribed psychotropic medications, which make the body more vulnerable to heat. A similar number receive blood pressure drugs, which can cause the same problem. And the rise of longer sentences in the 1980s and 90s has produced a surge of older prisoners, who are particularly susceptible to heat illnesses...."

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