A federal judge has reportedly threatened to lock up Texan prison officials in stifling temperatures after officials violated his court order to keep some inmates in air conditioning. In an emergency hearing in a Houston courtroom on Friday, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison said, “It seems the most obvious sanction is pretty straight forward,” according to the Texas Tribune. “We ought to have prison officials in prison at the same temperature.” The hearing was the latest development in a five-year lawsuit over the heat in one of 75 Texas prison units currently without air conditioning. The lawsuit began in 2014, when several inmates at the William Pack prison sued the Texas Department of Criminal Justice over inside temperatures that regularly went above 100 degrees. Since 1998 the department has reported nearly two dozen prisoner heat-related deaths.
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