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Posted under: Politics News

Nearly 3,000 Florida Inmates Evacuated After Hurricane Michael Damages Several Prisons

The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed one prison had “significant structural damage.”

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The damage left by Hurricane Michael has thousands without power and others without shelter. Like Hurricane Florence before it, Michael has affected prisons, too.

According to NBC Miami, nearly 3,000 inmates were evacuated from four Florida prisons due to substantial roof damage and damage to security infrastructure. About 2,600 prisoners were evacuated from Gulf Correctional Institution and Annex and about 305 from Calhoun Correctional Institution.

“The evacuated facilities sustained significant damage to roofs and security infrastructure,” the Florida Department of Corrections said in a statement obtained via BuzzFeed News. “Staff and inmates at these facilities were not injured during the storm. All inmates were secure and had access to food and drinking water through the duration of the storm.”

According to the Miami Herald, many prisoners claim the DOC's statement is factually incorrect. 

The families of prisoners told the Herald that food and water access did not continue uninterrupted during the storm and that DOC officials told prisoners that if they wanted water, they could drink from potentially contaminated taps “at their own risk.”

Furthermore, some prisoners want to know why they weren't evacuated before the storm. Many of their family members said the men at the facilities were terrified as the wind tore at the buildings in which they were housed for the duration of the hurricane. 

The Department said on Sunday that “evacuations took place as soon as the roads leading to the facilities were passable and safe for inmate transport.”

Despite being in place for the devastating storm, no inmates or staff members were injured. The DOC promised its website would be updated with new location information for all of the transferred prisoners within 24 hours. 


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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director made of sugar and spice and everything rice. She has the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.