How does a private prison handle a hurricane?

While a public system may be able to move inmates to another county or state jail, private facilities may not have the same abilities

Written by Beryl Lipton
Edited by JPat Brown

As millions in the path of Hurricane Harvey evacuated their homes and land ahead of the torrential storm, thousands more were left dependent upon the emergency measures made by their captors.

Prisoners, both the criminally incarcerated and those held for violations of entry to the country, require extra attention, given the chaotic conditions involved with moving and securing those held in such close custody. This time around, those in the Lone Star State were, in many cases, relocated to other facilities further inland, housed in gymnasiums or cafeterias where inmates usually don’t sleep. Other preparations were made for those released but on parole, who require regular check-ins and a prepared evacuation plan so that their supervision can resume once they’ve reached their designated safe place.

How do prisons prepare for and handle situations where some or all of their occupants need to be moved and in a hurry? And what if those prisons are private?

We’re currently waiting on multiple requests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and CoreCivic for their procedures at prisons in the area affected by Harvey. You can follow those on the request pages linked in the sidebar. Have your own experience with prisoner relocation during a flood, tornado, or other so-called Act of God? Let us know at info@muckrock.com.


Image via FBI.gov