ADCRR Update on Excessive Heat Safety and Relief Strategy

July 26, 2023

PHOENIX, AZ - Director Thornell has been in continuous contact with the administration at ASPC-Perryville and has been on-site at ASPC-Perryville several times in the past week. He is also receiving regular updates regarding the status of operations and heat-related impacts at ADCRR's eight other state correctional complexes.

During his visits to ASPC-Perryville, Director Thornell spent time speaking with staff and the women's population, and toured each of the heat-impacted housing units. Additionally, he spent time in individual cells, group spaces, and other impacted areas. The comfort and safety of our staff and inmate population are his top priority.

Given the ongoing hot summer weather conditions, ADCRR is taking additional steps to help ensure the comfort and safety of the women housed at Perryville. Many of these additional steps are also being implemented at other complexes, as necessary.

Until further notice, ice is accessible to the inmate population free-of-charge for personal use at complexes where ADCRR's Excessive Heat Safety and Relief Strategy has been implemented. Once the strategy is activated at a complex, such as it has been at ASPC-Perryville, it will remain in place until further notice. Each ADCRR complex is working through an operational plan to ensure the necessary quantity of ice is available on-site, consistently, and can be stored, accessed, and utilized in a safe manner. Additionally, the Department has installed temporary misting systems on shade structures in outdoor yards, increased the availability of ice water, conducted additional health and wellness checks, improved air flow in individual rooms, and further increased accessibility to cooling centers at the complex.

As of Sunday afternoon, the women's population at ASPC-Perryville, along with staff, were reporting much improved conditions and temperatures during the Director's visit.

The ADCRR frontline staff are working tirelessly to provide a safe and secure environment that also allows for relief from the heat and ensures health and wellbeing. We are appreciative of the staff's dedication to this effort, even during the hottest of temperatures, and for their flexibility and responsiveness.

Our team continues to work around the clock to keep cooling systems functioning and to support the additional strategies put into place. These efforts will continue until we have safely made it through the summer weather. To read more about our Excessive Heat Safety and Relief Strategy please visit here.