In April 2015, the Clinic published the report “Reckless Indifference: Extreme Heat in Texas Prisons” and revealed the ongoing, dire conditions that inmates and guards alike are exposed to in Texas prisons, which have claimed the lives of at least 14 inmates since 2007. This report expanded on the Clinic’s previous work by adding inmate testimony as well as inmate grievances, and it established that pleas to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) have been largely ignored.
Human Rights Clinic
The Human Rights Clinic brings together an interdisciplinary group of law and graduate students in a course that incorporates both classroom study and hands-on participation in human rights projects and cases.
Cases and Projects
In 2014, the HRC published a report, entitled “Deadly Heat in Texas Prisons” (below), challenging the current situation in Texas prisons and on domestic and international standards addressing extreme heat. The HRC concluded that extreme heat in prisons endangers the health of inmates and employees, that such conditions are a violation of inmates’ constitutional and human rights, and makes short- and long-term recommendations on how to solve this unacceptable, ongoing problem.
The Clinic, in partnership with the Domestic Violence Clinic, the Legislative Lawyering Clinic and the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force, is promoting the adoption of City of Austin Council and Travis County Resolutions on Freedom from Domestic Violence as a Human Right.
- Guidelines for Reporting on Human Rights Compliance: Law Enforcement Responses to Domestic Violence (2015)
- Understanding Domestic Violence As Community Violence Through Human Rights: Austin & Travis County Law Enforcement Responses To Domestic Violence (2015)
- IACHR: Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) et al. United States, Report No. 80/11
- Freedom From Domestic Violence as a Fundamental Human Right Policy Paper
- County Resolution
- City Council Resolution