Friday, July 21, 2017

Missouri Inmates Scream for Help Amid Heat Wave In Prison That Lacked Air Conditioning

Eric Chaney
Published: July 21,2017

A video of prisoners yelling from the windows of a St. Louis city jail raised questions from family members and officials about the building's lack of air conditioning.
The Medium Security Institution, also known as "The Workhouse," was built in 1966 and can house over 1,100 inmates, but only a few sections of the institution are air-conditioned, Fox 2 Now reported, and prisoners must rely only on vented windows for air circulation.
On the video, the prisoners can be heard yelling "Help," "Help us," and "We ain't got no AC," from those windows.
(MORE: 50 Homes Destroyed by California's Detwiler Fire)
Prisoners at the Medium Security Institution run by the city of St. Louis can be seen yelling out the window as temperatures rise in the stifling building.
(Screenshot courtesy of KTVI-TV video)

"This institution because it houses some 700 inmates ... it’s very hot in there," said the reporter who shot the video, Fox 2 Now’s Elliott Davis. "We’ve gotten a number of complaints. We talked to some people who have just been released about the conditions inside and they say that it’s absolutely unbearable."
One woman who was visiting her grandson at the facility told Davis her grandson claimed the temperature in the prisoner pods were 109 degrees, but Fox 2 Now said that claim has not been independently verified.
Data from a weather station located about a mile from the prison shows that although temperatures in the last seven days have averaged about 86 degrees Fahrenheit, highs have been in the upper 90s and even broke 100 on Thursday afternoon.
Jon Erdman, senior meteorologist, said temperatures will remain relatively high but may cool slightly.
"With average highs around 90 degrees, heat and humidity is the norm in late July in St. Louis," said Erdman. "Fortunately, there is a break ahead from the recent torrid heat wave, with highs settling into the low 90s early next week. This is what typically passes as relief this time of year."
City Corrections Commissioner Dale Glass told the Associated Press that he is developing a heat safety plan; the cafeteria and other common areas are serving as cooling stations.
A spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson told Fox 2 Now that staffers provide inmates with juice and ice several times a day to keep them cool.
Nonetheless, the situation at the prison has caught the attention of Missouri state lawmakers, the AP reported. State Rep. Joshua Peters (D) sent a letter Wednesday asking Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson to create a commission to examine conditions at the St. Louis Workhouse.
MORE: Weirdest Weather Events on Earth

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

No comments:

Post a Comment