Archive | Pretrial Release

Texas State Prisons do not Provide AC for Inmates

Inmates from a Texas state prison have been fighting a lawsuit in federal court for more than a year, and a recent ruling may not be enough to fix a problem that has been causing controversy for far longer than that.

Texas State Prisons do not Provide AC for Inmates

The facts of the case are as follows:

Six inmates, 5 with medical conditions and one with no outstanding health conditions, filed the suit against the Texas Department of Corrections and Justice in early summer of 2016.

They were seeking reprieve from the “unlivable and inhumane” conditions in the prison facility in which they were being housed; the heat and humidity levels in the summer easily reached dangerous levels of 100 degrees or more inside the buildings.

They claim that the “relief” provided by the prison officials and staff included only cool drinking water and ice, when available, and fans in the sleeping quarters.

They purport that these measures are not enough to mitigate the sheer heat and humidity, and this places them in unnecessary and irresponsible levels of danger, to their very health and well-being.

They were seeking an outcome which would include air conditioning to bring the ambient temperatures down to no more than 88 degrees in the summer heat, which would eliminate the dangers to their health.

The federal judge presiding over the case ruled that the inmates were in the right to ask for these measures, as fans, water, and occasional ice are not enough to prevent heat-related injury in circumstances such as this.

However, the Texas state prison system seems unwilling to admit that their handling of the situation up until the present time has not been effective, or even safe. They are actively involved in filing appeals on the federal ruling, and have no plans to implement the ordered air conditioning to bring the ambient temperatures down to livable, appropriate levels.

The main reason for the prison system’s seeming unwillingness, or the reason that they state as the logic for their opposition of the ruling, is that taxpayers in the state should not be held liable for the millions of dollars in work and operating cost that air conditioning for lawbreakers and criminals in the prison system.

Rows of prison cells, prison interior.

At this point, it might help to bring in a few points related, but separate, to this discussion.

The cells and living quarters at Guantanamo Bay prison system, where suspects of terrorism are taken for questioning, are air-conditioned.

Prisons in Alaska provide heat during the winter for the inmates and staff, because to refrain from doing so would be neglectful, and could cause unwarranted deaths due to cold-related injury.

In 1995, in the Chicago heat wave, residents in poorly-ventilated, non-air-conditioned apartments literally cooked to death, because they thought a fan would help their situation. In temperatures reaching over 85 or 90 degrees, a fan of any sort of description ceases to perform its function appropriately. Instead, the fan’s motor begins to overheat, and pumps more heated air into the room. Hundreds of people died in their own apartments, and when they were found later, their fans were still on, pumping hot air into the oven that used to be a living space for families and friends.

The global standards for basic human rights do not have specific demands or conditions for air conditioning. Instead, the rule is for “livable, humane conditions”. What this breaks down to is that in different areas, there are different climates, and a certain climate control measure may not be required year-round in one location for livability and humane conditions; but in another area, or a specific time frame, an external climate control measure may be absolutely, legally necessary to prevent cruelty, neglect, and inhumane conditions.

Medically, cool drinking water and occasional ice are not enough to combat heat-related injury, especially when you pair that with the travesty of fans that only add to the heat, as discussed above. Even submerging in an ice bath is not enough to combat heat injury in these instances.

And one last fact, which seems to speak volumes.

Since 1998, 22 inmates have died in Texas state prisons, due to heat-related injury, which could have been prevented if the living quarters of the prison had provided air conditioning to a livable level. 10 of those deaths occurred in 2011 alone, in four individual prison facilities. 2011 was one of the hottest summers on record, and that was the single year with the most heat-related deaths of prison inmates on record.

All because prisons seem to think it is okay to cruelly and inhumanely withhold suitable climate control measures from inmates.

Even if they are prisoners, they are still human, and deserve the basic rights due to human beings.

 

How to Get Released from Jail Quickly

Early Jail ReleaseIf you are arrested for DUI or any other crime, it’s important that you get released from jail quickly pending your trial. Your DUI arrest may be scary for you; you’ll need to talk to your lawyer right away to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case, and you can’t do that from a jail cell. If you need help securing your early jail release, contact Just Bail Bonds for help.

Bail System

In some cases, people are released from jail on their own recognizance, which means they just have to sign a paper promising to come back for their trial. In most cases, however, people who are arrested can only get out of jail pending trial by paying bail. Bail is an amount of money set by a judge to secure your appearance at trial. If you do not appear in court as required, you forfeit the bail you paid. Bail is often set at $25,000 or higher to encourage defendants to return for their trial.

What If I Can’t Afford Bail?

The high cost of bail makes it unaffordable for many people. If you cannot afford bail on your own, don’t panic. Dallas bail bonds offices can help you get the money you need. They provide loans; you need to pay 10 percent of the bail up front and then pay back the loan in monthly installments. For example, if you owe $25,000 in bail, you pay the bail bondsman $2,500 up front.

Getting a bail loan is often the quickest way to get out of jail. Once your loan is secured, your bail will be paid and you can go home. If you or a loved one has been arrested, don’t try to wait it out in a Dallas jail. Call Just Bail Bonds at 214-272-0792 to arrange for your bail loan and secure your immediate release from jail.

What is Pretrial Release?

Just Bail Bonds is a bail bond agent in Dallas who helps those who require assistance posting bail to be released from jail, but if you end up in jail you do not always have to pay to get out. A pretrial release allows you to leave the jail if you promise to return for the entire duration of the trial. It was originally designed to help reduce the amount of overcrowding in jails in the area. There are many qualifications you have to fulfill to be eligible for this option in Dallas, but if you do qualify, it can get you out of jail until your court date.

The program that governs releases is run through Dallas County. This program collects information about you to determine if you fit the requirements to be released on a personal promise to return. In most cases, you have to be a resident of Dallas County and jailed for an offense committed there. You cannot have ever forfitted on a bond, be a parolee, or have a felony conviction. To verify your information, you will need to provide your identification and agree that you will appear in court. Dallas County has a program that oversees this pretrial release option and screens people for the right qualifications. To see if you qualify or to have your information reviewed, you need to contact Dallas County.

If you do not qualify for this pretrial type of release, you may have to post bail to get out of jail. A portion paid on this fee ensures that you will appear in court, and if you don’t you owe the full amount and may have a warrant put out for your arrest. If you need the assistance of a bail bondsman in Dallas, contact Just Bail Bonds at 214-272-0792.