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02

Jul

Air Cooling and Niche Groups: Protect Prisoners and Granny Too

Written by Alex under General | No Comments ""

The British Summer has only delivered short stints of brilliant sunshine so far this year but some areas of the globe have been experiencing much hotter conditions. Whilst many of us will have an air conditioner in our home to help us deal with the increasing temperatures that the season can bring, there are niche groups who don’t have this option and are therefore suffering…

A Texas prison cell

Image: Time Pearce, FlickR

Calescent Captive Convicts

Prisoners across North Texan prisons are hardly appreciative of the hot weather. Since there are currently more than 160,000 inmates across Texas prisons, confines are already intimate and for this reason conditions can become swelteringly hot. August is only set to make the heat more unbearable as temperatures are expected to hit over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Contrary to popular belief, Texas prisons are not air conditioned. Instead, disciplinary units are fitted with “forced air systems that keep inside air moving and fresh air coming in”, at least according to The Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Nine years ago, a somewhat indigent fan program for torrid and non wealthy inmates was launched. This program – known as TX-CURE – has since provided air fans for around 5,600 inmates, a very small percentage of the total number of convicts.  Each approved unit must be bought from the prison system for $20 and because the scheme relies on donations, there are simply not enough to go round.

TX-CURE coordinator Dorothy Deen claims to currently hold 520 unopened letters, the majority of which she suspects are requests from inmates for units for their cells.

OAP Heat-astrophe

High heat has the potential to make most of us feel uncomfortable but for senior’s citizens the heat can be deadly. In North Carolina, the Richmond County Aging Services Department (RCASD) knows this all too well and so the organisation takes up a collection of electric fans every year and then distributes them amongst needy OAPs.

Would you let your grandma overheat?

Image: dougbelshaw, FlickR

Jacqueline Adkins – the director of aging services – explains why the heat is so dangerous for older individuals:

“The heat can be especially dangerous for seniors because some of their medications make them feel like they aren’t hot [...] the elderly don’t even realize they need medical attention until the situation is critical.”

Like in the case of TX-CORE though, demand always exceeds the available supplies. There are currently 35 people on the waiting list for an air cooling appliance from RCASD. The scheme accepts donations in both the form of appliances and monetary donations.

If you can afford to buy yourself – or a loved one – a fan or an air conditioner, you should consider yourself as very lucky indeed.


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