Texas Won't Cool Its Prisons, But It Will Air Condition Its Pigs

PigsWikimedia.jpg
Flickr user titanium22
There's something about the thought of air conditioning prisons that rankles Texas officials. Partly, it's the cost: Cooling the 90 (out of 111) state-run prisons that lack any sort of climate control would run well into the millions. Partly, it's a tough-on-crime thing: These are convicted criminals; nothing wrong with making them sweat it out.

In any case, the perennial call to air condition prisons, if only to keep prisoners from dying and avoid wrongful death lawsuits, has been roundly ignored. The bellows of the pigs kept by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, meanwhile, have not.

On Thursday, the criminal justice blog Grits for Breakfast was intrigued by a brief on porknetwork.com detailing the TDCJ's purchase of six climate-controlled "swine buildings" for $750,000.

That post was quickly seized upon by the Texas Civil Rights Project, which noted the absurdity of the situation, and provided a list of the 14 Texas prisoners who have recently died from the heat, in a press release.

See also
-Lawsuit Says There Were Nine Heat-Related Deaths at Texas Prisons in 2011

"It is outrageous that TDCJ would prioritize the safety of pigs raised for slaughter over the lives of human beings," TCRP's Scott Medlock said. "TDCJ has literally made the decision that protecting its bacon is more important than protecting human lives."

The prison system, subsequent news articles explained, has about 20,000 pigs inmates raise for consumption by prisoners.

TDCJ officials defended the purchase of the climate-controlled buildings, telling the Texas Tribune that it's "consistent with any swine operation," Collier said. "Pigs can't sweat, and temperatures are critical when they are younger."

The Huntsville Item provides a bit more detail on standard pig-raising practices, gleaned from a Purdue University "Pork Industry Handbook."

Ideally, the newborn pig needs a clean, dry, draft-free environment with clean air and a temperature of about 85°F to 90°F the first three days of life. In contrast, the most comfortable temperature for the sow is approximately 60°F to 65°F. In central farrowing units, these two temperature requirements are handled by maintaining a room temperature of about 65°F to 75°F and providing supplemental zone heat for the young pigs.

Maybe that's what TDCJ needs: another handbook. Perhaps "How Not to Kill Prisoners through Hyperthermia."


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92 comments
cheshyre
cheshyre

"Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful." Who said Nietzsche never visited Dallas? Redneck "justice" because no innocent man is ever convicted and all laws are fair and just. Roast 'em alive, my humanitarian friends! And don't forget what that other liberal asshole said: "What you do to the least of these you do unto me."

(And is it just a coincidence the sadist crowd are the same people who support criminal Presidents who lie their country into a war, murdering a nation's children, destroying the lives of millions? Just because one is not in jail does not mean one is not a criminal!)

Soren_Eriksen
Soren_Eriksen

That is because the pigs are better behaved.

mcdallas
mcdallas

One can draw a very simple conclusion based on these comments:

1) Texans like bacon

The end.

Mike Howard
Mike Howard

This is not news...DO is getting to be more liberal and less smart every day...I do believe you just won the ID-10-T award.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

Do you know how I stay Air Conditioned in the Summer and Heated during the Winter??? It's a tricky one...but...............




I DO NOT COMMIT CRIMES AND END UP IN JAIL!

casiepierce
casiepierce

They may not have air con, but they do have clean running water and fans. And access to the outdoors. I'm sorry but if a grown man cannot keep himself cool, then what's wrong with him?

Jimmy James
Jimmy James

A lot of poor, law-abiding families live in Texas without any air conditioning. It's difficult to be sympathetic to criminals considering this.

ginger4v
ginger4v

Ummmmmmm.. Who cares! I want those civil right idiots to invite them over to their house and give then ac. I swear, liberals just piss me off. These area freakin criminals and not good citizens. So I say let them sweat out what crime they committed and see if they want to go back to jail.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo letz sinz allz da ah unlicensed pharmacist dere.

lewbowski300
lewbowski300

Bleeding heart-ism is always based on redefining needs as rights as well as a fundamental lack of understanding what a liability is versus what an asset is. 

Americano
Americano

I bet the guys serving in Afghanistan are all torn up about the prisoners not having A/C.

Danny Mancia
Danny Mancia

I'm comforted to know my bacon once enjoyed air conditioning

ruddski
ruddski

Fedex, UPS and USPS delivery personnel drive around all day with no AC. Just sayin'.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

"... and providing supplemental zone heat for the young pigs."

 Not only are they air conditioning the pigs, they're then heating the air conditioned air.



Monty Gentry
Monty Gentry

Big brother is not related to me, I don't need em

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers

Newsflash....dont do anything that sends you to prison.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Does this mean TDCJ will make great bacon? Or pulled pork? This could be the Texas version of Kobe beef. I nominate Dallas bacon as the name. And now I want bacon. Anyone want to recommend a good bacon cheeseburger in Dallas for lunch?

Jason Simms
Jason Simms

and unjust laws dont drink raw milk dont get sick and need cannabis .you will die in texas.i am glad i dont live there anymore.born and raised.but you treat people really bad and then say you protect life and stop abortion get it together davy crokett would be mad

Shane Owens
Shane Owens

Opinions vary Sebastian, but at least I'm not a criminal that victimizes citizens then cries foul once made to suffer the consequences of their crimes. If you saw daily the fallout from the crimes of these animals such as I do, you wouldn't be shedding any tears for them being a little uncomfortable. Save your tears for those who deserve them...the victim's of these cowards.

Brent Morris
Brent Morris

Another DO post not going according to plan?

Donnie Hebert
Donnie Hebert

I'm down with letting pigs have air conditioning and not prisoners

Threeboys
Threeboys

So my questions are:

1.  What proportion of the total inmate population does this 14 represent and is that a higher percentage of heat related deaths than the non-inmate population?

2.  Were these buildings available with out air conditioning and what would have been the savings?

3.  Couldn't one make the observation that psychotropics may also be contributing to their deaths?.  Almost all these inmates were on them.

Shane Owens
Shane Owens

Prisoners are in prison because they committed horrible crimes to get there...and we should feel bad that they aren't living as well as pigs? If they would have behaved like civilized people they wouldn't be in the position to be treated like the animals they are. As for the pork...get rid of it. A prisoner's diet should consist of the most basic, and inexpensive, material that is designed to barely maintain their health. Why in the world is it considered a good idea to get these animals bulked up with good sources of protein and hours of pumping iron?

DallasLifer
DallasLifer

logic, since youve never been to jail to know what youre talking about the majority of inmates in texas are there for non violent drug charges, many of whom are non violent offenders...theyre people just like you...not eveyone is an animal...these jails get funded by the population of the jail itself...and its not like the prisoners eat the pork...you do know that prisoners tend to livestock that is then sold to the public right? or are you just oblivious to the whole criminal "justice" system?...i mean business...

Esteban Mainzer
Esteban Mainzer

i actually think pigs should be more comfortable than inmates.

Brandon Von Black-Fist
Brandon Von Black-Fist

Nick, it's a trade off since prisoners get video games and cable television...for free. Oh, and free healthcare, pay'd for by innocent tax payers with actual jobs. They can live without t.v.

Brandon Von Black-Fist
Brandon Von Black-Fist

It's a trade off since prisoners get video games and cable television...for free. Oh, and free healthcare, pay'd for by innocent tax payers with actual jobs. They can live without t.v.

Tara Manning
Tara Manning

Through adaptation... And plenty didn't survive, of course.

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

I assumed, this being the DO, I would have to be the voice of reason on such a liberal attempt at a tear jerker story. However, it looks like everyone is on the same, and correct, page. Prisoners are in prison because they committed horrible crimes to get there...and we should feel bad that they aren't living as well as pigs? If they would have behaved like civilized people that wouldn't be in the position to be treated like the animals they are. As for the pork...get rid of it. A prisoner's diet should consist of the most basic, and inexpensive, material that is designed to barely maintain their health. Why in the world is it considered a good idea to get these animals bulked up with good sources of protein and hours of pumping iron?

mcdallas
mcdallas

@Montemalone Whatever it takes for great bacon, man.  Whatever it takes.  Have you tried that stuff?!?

mcdallas
mcdallas

@DallasLifer Go eat some bacon.  While in the a/c.  That will give you proper perspective.

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

Actually, I have heard the "non violent" nonsense before, but because I DO know a great deal about the criminal justice system I know that to be a falsehood pushed by the liberals. Selling drugs is considered a "non violent" crime, but I don't know of many drug dealers that meditate and do yoga. Most are violent, dangerous people that only serve time on a fraction of the horrible crimes they commit. Burglary is considered a "non violent" crime. If they are such reasonable, good people why don't you sit down to a cup of tea with one the next time they break into your house? Most people in jail for drug use are considered "non violent" as well but many of them commit robbery, burglary, and theft to get the money for the drugs they use...so again not really a good example. You have to remember that most people in Texas jails have been given multiple chances to get their lives straight and have decided that they prefer to take their chances committing crime rather than actually getting a job or acting in a civil manner. So, no, they are nothing like me.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@logic4dallas  

1) See what happens when you assume? You're obviously not from around here.

2) Look up "nutra loaf". That's what they eat. And it's disgusting. But cheap and nutritious! 

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@logic4dallas If you don't like the Eighth Amendment, there are many countries you could move to where the American Constitution won't be a bother for you.

DallasLifer
DallasLifer

@logic4dallas you do know texas has some of the toughest drug laws in the country right? and i know numerous pot smokers who do yoga and have steady jobs and families, what horrible crimes they must be committing while at their kids football practice or school plays, right? those darn criminals...the only falsehood is the generalities and statistics you regurgitate like you've been glued to fox news 24/7 with text alerts to your phone when you dont watch it...lol...if non violent drug charges werent such an issue then why would there be a movement from the government to abolish minimum terms for non violent drug offenders? because theyre regular people!! you must live in a suburb somewhere tucked away from the real workings of this city made to look like anytown USA with your views...wake up man...its 2013 in the world today and climate control is that big of a deal to you? or people you will never meet in a place youve never been? really? is A/C gonna cause you to miss work or take food off your table? or make your power go out? its not up to you to administer punishment or decide whats "good enough" unto other people whom you have no idea of their circumstance because youve been fortunate enough not to encounter their situations. point blank, your sense of entitlement is disgusting you have no clue sir, none what so ever

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

I love the constitution...and it has no bearing here. I do however get sick of liberals trying to contort it in every way possible. If every prisoner were put in a metal box and forced to bake in the mid day sun, you might have an argument...but that is not the case. No where in the constitution does it say that criminals should be treated better than a large majority of the populace. Your liberal one liner is duly noted and dismissed. Carry on.

doublecheese
doublecheese

@notmadeomoney @logic4dallas I can't see how a technological innovation (air conditioning) designed to add comfort makes living in our natural environment cruel and unusual.  I guess because it fucking doesn't.

logic4dallas
logic4dallas

I actually grew up in a home without running water and reasonable climate control but saw the conditions around me and fought for a better life. I also saw first hand how drugs destroy lives and have fought to see that others do not have to suffer due to drug users.

The reason the government is getting softer on drug related crime is because it is expensive to maintain the offenders...bottom line. Not because they aren't crimes but because we need to cut costs.

The only point I will budge on is marijuana users and jail time. I haven't seen many users of said drug toke up then shoot up a mall. Most just get high, eat Doritos and play XBOX. However, the drug trade related to the smuggling and sell of marijuana has had a huge negative impact on this country.

Just so you know I don't trust any of our media. I get my news about the U.S. from BBC or German news. Everything here is either slanted too far to the right or over the cliff on the left.

It IS my right to decide what is "good enough" for convicted criminals as I obey the law, I am a good citizen, and I pay taxes.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@notmadeomoney @logic4dallas But I didn't see the part where they cooled off with a wet rag on their heads whilst sitting in from of a fan. The other 370,000+ inmates who didn't die from the awful, awful heat did those things. And are doing doing it right now. And are not also NOT dying...

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