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Advocates Demand Rikers Inmates Get Air Conditioning During Heat Wave

July 20, 2019 - 12:37 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – The Legal Aid Society has demanded that the city Department of Correction move inmates into air conditioned units amid a sweltering heat wave.

Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are expected to rise near 100 degrees, with the heat index approaching 115 degrees.

Most buildings at Rikers don’t have air conditioning, and the Legal Aid Society said individuals confined to their cells are at risk of overheating.

The nonprofit sent a letter to the DOC, asking for inmates to be moved into air conditioned units during the heat wave.

Related: Beat The Heat: Your Summer Survival Guide

In the letter, they made a special mention of those in enhanced supervision housing who could be locked up for up to 23 hours a day.

A response from the DOC doesn’t meet advocates' demands for air conditioning, but the department promises to take some extra steps during the scorching weekend. Among them: distributing more summer clothing, giving inmates access to ice and cold showers, and bringing out more fans.

The DOC says senior staff is on hand to monitor the conditions firsthand.

Related: Officials Warn Of Heat Wave: ‘Hot Weather Is Dangerous And Can Kill’