GALVESTON, Texas (AP) An advocacy group has sued the Texas prison system blaming 13 inmate deaths since 2007 on hot conditions in units without air conditioning.
The Austin American-Statesman reports two wrongful-death negligence lawsuits were filed Thursday in Galveston by the Texas Civil Rights Project.
The federal lawsuits name the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, prison officials and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, which provides inmate care. Most Texas prisons are air conditioned only in administrative and some treatment areas.
Prisons spokesman John Hurt declined comment on the lawsuits. Hurt says prisons take summer precautions such as restricting activity during hottest parts of the day, providing water and ice in work and housing areas and training staff on heat-related illnesses.
Similar federal lawsuits filed in recent years remain pending.