RICHMOND (WAVY) – The Virginia Department of Corrections said in a press release on Wednesday they have been making preparations to keep inmates and staff safe amid the possibility of extreme summer weather.
To date, 75 percent of Virginia’s 29,000 inmates are housed in facilities with climate controlled air conditioning to cool housing units during times of elevated temperatures, the DOC said.
The VADOC said they will employ a number of strategies to keep staff and offenders as comfortable as possible when the summer heat intensifies the remaining 25 percent housed without air conditioning.
“We recognize this is an issue of concern and we are working to address it as funding allows. Over the past several years, we have completed construction projects that have included the installation of air conditioning in several of the department’s older facilities,” says VADOC Director Harold Clarke.
Additional fans have been provided to offenders with extra ice and water to help them remain hydrated.
To better prepare for the water weather in the spring, the VADOC Agribusiness Unit began filling water pouches that are frozen and distributed to inmates.
The VADOC follows guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the VADOC says offenders and staff will continue to wear utility masks and other PPE to keep one another safe.
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