Judge weighs Texas’ plan to move inmates from hot prison

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HOUSTON (AP) — Lawyers will get their chance to respond to Texas’ plan to move about 1,000 inmates from an unbearably hot prison to one of the two other lockups in the state.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled last month that the conditions inside the Wallace Pack Unit amount to cruel and unusual punishment and ordered that inmates with certain health conditions or who are at least 65 years old be transferred or housed elsewhere in the prison where temperatures don’t exceed 88 degrees (31 Celsius).

The heat index inside the prison about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Houston sometimes exceeds 100 degrees (38 Celsius).

The state Department of Criminal Justice has proposed temporarily housing the inmates in climate-controlled state prisons in Austin and the East Texas city of Diboll.

The inmates’ lawyers will get to respond to that plan during a hearing Tuesday.

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