The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-KY Spokesperson Samuel Crankshaw:
When the state chooses to incarcerate a person, it takes on the responsibility of caring for that person and ensuring they are safe and healthy.
It is entirely unacceptable that the Department of Corrections would force people to live without air conditioning during one of the hottest periods of the year. The slow response to this emergency is one more point in a long and disturbing trend of DOC refusing to take appropriate actions in a timely manner to ensure the safety of the Kentuckians who live and work in prisons. For instance, DOC took several months to provide personal protective equipment and sanitization products at the beginning of the pandemic. They are now allowing many prisons to continue what is effectively universal solitary confinement despite having a better understanding of how the coronavirus spreads and the resources to safely restart some programs, such as family visitation.
Additionally, it is particularly irresponsible to force these Kentuckians to live in dangerous conditions when our healthcare systems are overwhelmed. The risk facing incarcerated people and corrections employees will grow exponentially if they require medical attention due to complications from extreme heat. They could then be exposed to the coronavirus in a healthcare facility or receive inadequate care due to strained resources.
These incarcerated Kentuckians were sentenced to serve time, not physical harm or death. They deserve a safe place to live. We cannot forget them and the families and communities waiting for them to return home.
Click here to read more about this via WFPL News Louisville.