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Judge Texas not honoring settlement over hot prisons

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HOUSTON — A federal judge is expressing frustration that Texas officials don’t seem to be honoring a settlement of a lawsuit over oppressive heat at some state prison facilities.

During a court hearing Friday in Houston, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison debated whether officials should be sanctioned by having them experience the same temperatures as inmates.

Ellison delayed a ruling on possible sanctions until he’s heard from officials, including prison wardens, at a hearing on Tuesday.

Last year’s settlement resolved a lawsuit filed in 2014 over temperatures at the Wallace Pack Unit, about 95 miles (153 kilometers) northwest of Houston.

Attorneys for the inmates say prison officials are not adhering to the settlement.

A lawyer with the Texas Attorney General’s Office told Ellison officials are working to fix problems affecting the prisoners.

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