Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy Update 06.13.24

June 13, 2024

With Arizona’s weather heating up and the first days of summer quickly approaching, ADCRR released the following updates on the implementation of its Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy:

ADCRR’s Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy is now fully implemented across the state of Arizona in all areas experiencing extreme heat.

The Department has spent considerable time and effort in ensuring  this year’s heat season is thoughtfully considered and carefully planned for. Under the Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy, ADCRR is working to keep staff and the inmate population safe by:

  • Providing cooling areas for staff and the incarcerated population, utilizing misting stations and adding more (where feasible);
  • Ensuring that existing HVAC systems are fully operational;
  • Providing free ice to the incarcerated population, as applicable;
  • Relaxing grooming and dress standards; 
  • Maintaining ice water supply for staff and the incarcerated population; and
  • Completing health care checks on incarcerated individuals.

The Department is also conducting twice-daily cell temperature checks, ensuring that proper cooling attention is provided where it is needed. Standard procedures are in place so that temperature checks are being conducted properly and documented accurately. 

Throughout the state, several inmate housing units are being upgraded from evaporative cooling systems to modern and energy efficient HVAC systems. ADCRR’s Facilities HVAC Conversion Plan, which includes the HVAC project statuses at different prisons, can be found here.

While air conditioning conversion projects are well underway across the state, at ASPC-Perryville’s Santa Cruz Unit, additional heat mitigation strategies being implemented include:

  • Free ice twice daily for the incarcerated population;
  • Inmate housing units have relaxed unit operations to allow for greater access to cooling areas;
  • Large cooling tents are operational on housing yards, and are actively providing cooling relief. These cooling tents will remain in place until air conditioning conversion is complete.
  • Housing yards have misting stations and shade structures in place. 

ADCRR will continue to provide detailed updates on its Extreme Heat Safety and Relief Strategy throughout the summer.