Excessive Heat Safety and Relief Strategy (8/13/23)

August 13, 2023

As Arizona continues to endure this unprecedented extreme heat situation, ADCRR is committed to doing everything possible to manage our facilities in the safest, coolest, and most efficient manner for our staff and the inmate populations assigned to our correctional institutions.

The following actions continue to be taken by ADCRR as proactive approaches that address staff and inmate safety during excessive heat advisories at impacted ADCRR complexes: 

  • ADCRR staff and healthcare personnel maintain increased daily monitoring of inmate health and wellness.
  • ADCRR staff perform no less than twice daily regular checks of ambient temperatures within housing units.
  • Maintenance staff regularly check air flow temperatures discharging from HVAC vents to monitor cooling system performance.
  • Administrators are providing education to officers, staff, and inmates on how to recognize early signs of heat-related issues and how best to notify the appropriate staff should concerns arise.
  • Officers and unit staff communicate regularly with our inmate population about the importance of personal care, maintaining wellness, and accessing the resources available to them during times of extreme heat.
  • To help everyone stay cool throughout the day but still have ample time out of cell, ADCRR complexes offer alternative options to outdoor activities during peak hours of excessive temperatures. 
  • Daily unit schedules have been modified to allow inmates increased access to showers, to limit the time staff and inmates are standing outdoors, and to allow for a steady supply of ice water at all times.
  • ADCRR has relaxed grooming and dress standards for the inmate population during times when the temperature is high indoors and/or outdoors.
  • When indoor room temperatures are identified as being unacceptably hot, industrial fans or portable evaporative coolers are placed in affected areas to supplement existing cooling systems, in addition to other mitigation strategies.
  • When a housing area is impacted by a heat-related issue, air-conditioned cooling centers are immediately made available for inmates to access to stay safe and cool throughout the day.
  • Housing areas reliant on evaporative coolers and/or otherwise directly impacted by a heat-related issue provide the inmate population daily access to free ice for their personal use.
  • Where it is safe and feasible, certain housing units will run temporary misting systems on shade structures for staff and the inmate population to utilize while outdoors.

 

Reminder: Free Video Visitation is available  

We know how important it is for everyone to stay in touch with our incarcerated population. During this time of extreme heat, we remind everyone that ADCRR has a free video visitation option available in lieu of in-person visitation.