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Urgent: Anarchist political prisoner Xinachtli in danger of heatstroke

Xinachtli is a revolutionary Chicano anarchist political prisoner, jailhouse lawyer, and member of the Certain Days collective, who is held in the Texas prison system as a result of disarming a police officer who was threatening his life. He is currently in severe medical danger. As a 67-year-old man who takes several medications for hypertension and also has Hepatitis C, he has serious medical needs and is sensitive to the heat. Staff at the Polunsky Unit, where he is currently held, are refusing to give him access to a fan, or even to use his own funds to purchase one, even though Xinachtli warns that he is on the verge of heatstroke. In addition, he has not yet been given all his property, including legal papers, after a recent medical transfer from the Allred Unit. UPDATE July 24: As a follow-up on this, TDCJ have now issued a statement saying that Xinachtli has now been given access to a fan, so it looks like no further action is needed on this for now.

Submitted to Enough 14.

The extreme heat conditions in the Texas prison system have drawn increasing attention in recent years. Inmates at one prison, the Pack Unit, filed a lawsuit about the heat conditions, leading Judge Keith Ellison to rule that the heat constituted cruel and unusual punishment and caused a serious risk of injury or death. The dangers of extreme heat have been extensively documented by Texas prisoners such as Jason Walker and Comrade Malik, and publications from Truth Out to the Guardian have covered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s failings in this area. The heat has already killed atleast one Texas prisoner so far this summer. We need to put pressure on TDCJ to make sure Xinachtli does not become another victim.

TDCJ contact addresses:Polunsky Unit Senior Warden Michael Butcher,3872 F.M. 350,Livingston, Texas 77351(936)-967-8082

Michael.Butcher@tdcj.texas.gov

(940) 855-7477 – phone number for the Allred Unit, ask to speak to Ms. McLemore, the manager in charge of transferring Xinachtli’s property.

Region I Director’s Office:Texas Department of Criminal JusticeRegion I Director’s Office1225 Avenue GHuntsville, TX 77340Phone: (936) 437-1770 Wayne.Brewer@tdcj.texas.gov,
Tammie.Mitchell@tdcj.texas.gov,
Matthew.Gross@tdcj.texas.gov,
Billy.Hirsch@tdcj.texas.gov
Executive Director’s Office:PO Box 99
Huntsville, TX 77342-0099 
(936) 295-6371 
Bryan.Collier@tdcj.texas.gov Oscar.Mendoza@tdcj.texas.gov
Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

Suggested script:

Hello,

I am contacting you on behalf of Alvaro Luna Hernandez, #255735, an inmate who is currently receiving medical treatment at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit. As a 67-year-old man who suffers from Hepatitis C and is taking medication for hypertension, Mr. Hernandez has serious medical needs and is heat sensitive, but he reports that he is being refused access to a fan, and is not being allowed to purchase one from commissary. In addition, he reports that he has not yet been given all of his property, including legal papers, after his transfer from the Allred Unit.

You will be aware that TDCJ has received a substantial amount of negative coverage as a result of heat-related conditions in recent years, including situations such as Judge Ellison’s ruling against the Department in the Cole v. Collier lawsuit and the deaths of Robert Earl Robinson and Seth Donnelly. This coverage has reached the pages of prominent international publications such as theGuardian. I am sure you will agree that it is in TDCJ’s best interest to avoid any further negative publicity, or legal consequences, by ensuring that this situation is brought to a safe and favorable resolution as swiftly as possible, and that Mr. Hernandez is given access to his property from the Allred Unit, a floor fan, and any other resources needed to mitigate the effects of the heat.

Yours,


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