Local News

Inmates Keep Their Cool in the Summer Heat Without Air Conditioning

Posted July 26, 1999

— People in prison have no way to escape -- from the suffocating heat.

TheNorth Carolina Correctional Institution for Womenhas had millions of dollars worth of construction over the past decade: new dorms, new fencing and countless renovations. Still, just one-third of the 28-building facility has air conditioning.

A good number of the inmates have no relief. They get by with just fans and ice water.

The women here are not alone. A majority of the facilities in theDepartment of Correctionsystem in North Carolina do not have air conditioning. Prison administrators know the key is making sure the inmates keep their cool.

"We've been fortunate, with our staff reinforcing these procedures, that we've not had any incidents of heat exhaustion reported to our infirmary," says Mike Ledford, assistant superintendent of the prison.

"We do have a 24-hour infirmary here, so there is a medical staff available 24 hours a day if such a problem occurs," he says.

Many of the prison facilities were built in the 1930s. As the buildings are renovated, air conditioning is being installed.

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