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Heat in US Prisons and Jails: Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change

This is an excellent paper which "addresses two important but largely neglected questions: How will increased temperatures and heat waves caused by climate change affect prisons, jails, and their staff and inmate populations? And what can correctional departments do to prepare for greater heat and minimize the dangers it poses? ... Until now, the implications of climate change for corrections have been largely disregarded by both correctional administrators and public officials working on climate adaptation policy. This paper begins the process of connecting the discussions of climate policy and correctional policy. It provides an overview of the correctional sector and its specific vulnerabilities to heat, explores relevant legal issues, and offers recommendations for adaptation to address unique challenges that climate change poses for corrections" (p. i). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; overview of the correctional sector-jurisdictions and administration, existing facilities, inmate populations, correctional staff population; heat, corrections, and the law-inmate litigation, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, legal action by correctional staff, policies and regulations concerning heat and climate control in corrections, mandated adaptation efforts, and the legal context for adaptation; adaptation challenges and options-the basics of adaptation, special challenges for corrections, and options; and conclusion. An appendix includes examples from various agencies of policies and regulations concerning heat and climate control in corrections.