Concerned father reaches out to CBS 6. His son is incarcerated and the AC is broken ahead of weekend heat dome

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 21, 2024

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, Va. — The father of an inmate at Greensville Correctional Center reached out to CBS 6 concerned about the impending heat dome after his son reported that his pod is without air conditioning.

Steve Gregoire wondered if the inmates living without AC could be temporarily moved during the heat dome, or if the AC could be fixed before the weekend.

CBS 6 reached out to the Virginia Department of Corrections who confirmed DOC is working with contractors to make repairs on AC units at Greensville Correctional Center, but they don’t know when the work will be completed. A DOC spokesperson said that’s because of factors like parts and vendor contracts.

In the meantime, they said DOC is using heat mitigation resources like water, ice, and fans.

We asked how many inmates are impacted and a spokesperson said the affected number of inmates varies as work is completed through the facility, but the majority of housing units at Greensville do have AC.

“It’s a state-run building so it should be environmentally controlled, and it hasn’t been. And so there should be documentation about when the equipment went down what it went down for how long it will be down estimated repair time all these things are part of building maintenance,” Gregoire said in a Zoom interview Friday afternoon.

Virginia DOC said all facilities constructed since 1990 have air conditioning, but for older facilities, DOC is exploring the use of temporary portable AC united, and they are working to install permanent solutions.

Roughly 16 percent of inmates and probationers live in buildings that do not have air conditioning.

For those who don’t have AC, Virginia DOC said it would install fans, provide extra ice and water pouches, and adjust scheduling and the location of some activities to accommodate high temperatures.

A spokeswoman said misting fans are also used at several facilities, as well as smoke exhaust fans to increase airflow.

Watch Melissa Hipolit's reporting on CBS 6 News and Have something for Melissa to investigate? Email her.

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