POLL: Prisoners Sue for Air Conditioning; Texas Relents

Prison inmates who sued to get air conditioning installed are getting their way.

Texas has agreed to put in AC at the Wallace Pack Unit Prison outside College Station, reports Jolie McCollough of the Texas Tribune, who has covered the legal battle from the start.

Prisoners filed a class-action lawsuit  -- and the state will settle it by installing air conditioning at the prison, where temperatures often exceed 100 degrees during the summer.

The inmates argued that allowing prison temperatures to rise above 88 degrees amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Temporary AC will be in place for this summer, with permanent units installed by 2020.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the department and the plaintiffs will work to finalize details in the coming weeks, according to the Tribune report.

However, conservatives critics argue that the real action needed is criminal justice reform -- not just cooling off prisoners. 

They point to a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, that focuses on preparing prisoners for re-entry for their rehabilitation and re-entry into society.

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