Aug 21, 2019

Inmates swelter in uncooled prisons during heat wave

Alabama
USA
by
Melissa Brown
,
The Montgomery Advertiser
Officers during the search of Holman prison on April 18, 2019. Credit: ADOC
Officers during the search of Holman prison on April 18, 2019. Credit: ADOC

As temperatures and heat indexes crept to record-breaking levels last week, the men and women inside of Alabama prisons sweltered. 

"Being in here is like being in hell," said one prisoner, who spent part of the heat wave in a solitary confinement cell with little air flow. He slept on the floor, his mattress soaked with sweat, he said. Though prison officials say the cells are ventilated, the prisoner only felt a thin stream of air flow through the cell door's slot for food trays as heat indexes in Alabama hovered in the 110 to 115 degree range.

"It made it difficult to breathe."