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Advocates demand lawmakers protect inmates and workers inside Texas prisons

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-21 23:34:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Family members and advocates of inmates incarcerated inside Texas state prisons, rallied on Tuesday in Austin demanding lawmakers add AC to all their facilities.

“If Texas is pro-life, this should be a priority. We have lives that are in our hands and families are trusting the state of Texas their loved ones will make it home,” Maggie Luna with the Texas Center for Justice and Equity said.

Luna was incarcerated at Lucile Plane State Jail in Dayton back in 2017 for drug possession.

“We saw women having seizures, every single day from the heat, and I had never seen a seizure before I went to prison,” she said. 

Luna now works as a policy analyst and community outreach coordinator with the Texas Center for Justice and Equity, but she remembers summer conditions in prison all too well.

Based on her experience in prison, Luna is able to advocate for better treatment of inmates, knowing how hot a cell with no AC can get during the summer.   

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice 8 inmates and 16 workers have been treated for heat exhaustion this year.   

We had one of our guards, all we could see was EMS rush in grab her, put her on a gurney and take her out. We later heard that she had passed out from the heat,” said Luna.

Angelica Ardila’s brother is currently serving his sentence at Garza West in Beeville. Since speaking with KRIS 6 News in early July, her brother’s condition has only gotten worse.   

“Feverish, tired, weak, not wanting to get up, not having the energy to go to the men’s hall to get his food” Ardila said.

Ardila is now joining forces with Luna to demand lawmakers fix the hot conditions inside state prisons.

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