prison heat update

Despite Wayland being thrown in solitary and transferred to another prison, he has been provided with no explanation nor means of redress. Meanwhile, the state has released their inspection reports of the three facilities chosen by DPH.

The reports leave out copious details, and selectively include pieces of irrelevant information, such as the placement of air conditioning in a single room out of hundreds. The one very notable detail not subject to debate is the inside temperature reading. As you can see, the inside reading placed MCI Cedar Junction at 89°F, despite the inspection having been carried out on a 78°F day. Remember that heat amplifies in enclosed spaces. Consider that a car in 100°F heat has an internal temperature of 116°F after one hour. While the space inside units is larger, the experiments were conducted on vehicles with silver exterior, similar to the sheet metal and concrete that comprises Cedar Junction.

Additionally, the reports do, in fact validate prisoners allegations that the ventilation systems weren’t working.

Many of the units at MCI Cedar Junction are largely windowless. Broken ventilation/exhaust units means that there are 45 people in a small enclosed space with no climate control and no moving air in the middle of the heat wave.

Read #DeeperThanWater’s 8/3 statement on Facebook here:


Thanks to hundreds of phone calls you made to the Governor’s office and Department of Public Health starting July 9, we forced the state to act.

DPH inspected MCI Concord, MCI Norfolk, and MCI Cedar Junction. The inspections were conducted on a 74 degree day and produced citations for ventilation issues at Cedar Junction and Concord and reported indoor temperatures 10 degrees higher than outdoors.

Within one week, the Boston Globe published the story, and two weeks later we heard from prisoners at Cedar Junction, where our people report temperatures of 115 degrees heat index at the height of the heat wave, that they were being moved cell by cell to allow for fan installation.

Our comrades doing long bids and life remind us that conditions have been scorching in the summer and freezing in the winter for decades. It is your work and dedication to following the leadership of prisoners that resulted in this marginal gain…and we do not stop here.

Today, the National Weather Services has issued a Heat Advisory from 1-3 pm this afternoon; heat index values outside will climb into the high 90s. This means we can reasonably predict that people inside will experience heat in the 100s, again.

Fans will help some people bear it. But we know that this is nowhere near enough.

We know that elderly prisoners will not be moved to cooler areas, that people suffering from heat exhaustion will be punished for requesting medical care, and that the inhumanity of the prison system will continue.

We must keep fighting – join us for the long haul. This is #DeeperThanWater.



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