Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy

May 1, 2024

The record setting temperatures experienced throughout much of the region in 2023 created unprecedented challenges for ADCRR staff and the inmate population.

In preparation for the 2024 summer and future extreme heat, ADCRR is putting into place new and additional measures to ensure a safer and healthier environment for all who interface with ADCRR complexes.

New and Updated Measures for 2024 Heat Season


  • ADCRR leadership will conduct weekly heat briefings to ensure planning, communication, and operations are achieving intended outcomes and to identify areas needing attention.
  • Officers, unit staff, and healthcare staff will communicate regularly with ADCRR’s inmate population about the importance of personal care, maintaining wellness, and accessing the resources available to them during times of extreme heat.


  • Administration, in partnership with healthcare services, at each institution will ensure officers, unit staff, and inmates know the early signs of heat-related health issues.
  • Administration at each institution will ensure officers, unit staff, and inmates know who to contact with concerns about another person's health during times of extreme heat.
  • Staff will be trained in performing ambient temperature checks.

Procedures in Practice

  • Temperature checks will be completed at least twice per day between the hours of 6:00am and 8:00pm in all impacted housing units.
  • All temperature checks will be recorded utilizing a standardized form.
  • Temperature check forms will be reviewed by Complex Administrators for accuracy and to identify any areas in need of immediate attention.
  • Prison Operation Division administrators will provide additional quality assurance measures related to the forms and needed follow up actions.
  • ADCRR maintenance staff will conduct regular checks of airflow temperatures discharging from HVAC vents to monitor cooling system performance.
  • Housing units may run misting systems on shade structures for staff and the inmate population to utilize while outdoors.


  • ADCRR in-person visitation will remain as normally scheduled, unless it is unsafe (due to heat) to do so.
  • ADCRR has a free video visitation option available in lieu of in-person visitation and encourages its use during extreme heat.

Special Considerations

The Assistant Director of Prison Operations, in consultation with other divisions, may direct the following additional actions when localized weather conditions are categorized as extreme heat. These actions will be specific to those institutions and/or housing units identified as experiencing extreme heat in the weather report, not necessarily throughout the entire ADCRR region.

Staff and Inmate Wellness

  • ADCRR staff and healthcare personnel will increase their daily monitoring of inmate health and wellness.
    • Healthcare personnel will identify heat-sensitive inmates that may require additional healthcare services or relocation during extreme heat.
  • Additional cooling equipment and ice machines will be distributed to help provide immediate relief to locations in the extreme heat impacted areas.
  • Staff will provide the inmate population daily access to free ice for their personal use.
    • In Restrictive Housing units, inmates assigned in these locations will be temporarily issued one (1) personal use fan per cell if a personal one is not already present.
  • Housing units will run misting systems on shade structures for staff and the inmate population to utilize while outdoors.
  • Modification of the daily unit schedules / unit clocks may occur to:
    • Allow inmates increased access to showers;
    • Limit the time staff and inmates are standing outdoors;
    • Allow increased access to temporary cooling rooms and areas;
    • Allow for a steady supply of ice water at all times.
  • Air-conditioned cooling centers or temporary heat relief areas will be established for staff and inmates to access to stay safe and cool throughout the day.
    • These will include, but are not limited to: staff-specific locations, classrooms, dining areas, unoccupied visitation rooms, and dayrooms.
  • Industrial fans, portable evaporative coolers, or other temporary cooling devices will be placed in affected areas to supplement existing cooling systems, in addition to other mitigation strategies.
  • Grooming and dress standards for the inmate population will be relaxed.
  • Additional mitigation actions may be taken, based upon institution-specific operations and physical plant structures, as necessary.

Facilities HVAC Conversion Plans

  • ADCRR currently has several projects in process to improve physical plant infrastructure and living environments by converting housing units from evaporative cooling systems to modern and energy efficient HVAC systems. These projects are ongoing at the various complexes throughout the state and remain a priority for the agency.
  • The Facilities HVAC Conversion Plan can be found here.