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Texas Prison System Pays $750K To Cool Down Pig Barns

Cute Baby Animals: Piglets
(credit: JOCHEN LUEBKE/AFP/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas prison system is paying $750,000 for climate-controlled barns for use in its pig farming program.

The buys come as the system faces lawsuits, criticism and complaints by inmates and guards about extreme heat.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the barns feature large fans with misters and exhaust fans to guarantee constant air movement. The state's prison system uses inmate labor to raise pigs for prison consumption.

Bryan Collier is deputy director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He says the barns don't have "air conditioning ... it's a climate-controlled environment."

Meanwhile, at least 14 inmate deaths have been blamed on extreme heat averaging 120 degrees in some areas inside prisons in the past six years. Almost none of the inmate living areas have air conditioning.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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