Hurricane Harvey Forces Evacuation of South Texas Prisons. Prisoners Headed to the Ark-La-Tex.
Hurricane Harvey is the strongest storm to slam into the Texas coast in nearly half a century, and the biggest to the US in 12 years. Even though it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the danger and the damage are far from over. The biggest concern now is power outages and flooding. Officials have been urging residents in the path of the destruction to head for higher ground, but criminal offenders housed in jails and prisons across the southern part of the Lone-Star State were still in danger. About 4,500 prisoners being held in the Ramsey, Terrell and Stringfellow units in Rosharon have been classified as in danger due to the rapidly rising Brazos river and the massive impending rainfall.
The inmates will be transported by Texas Department of Criminal Justice buses to facilities in the Ark-La-Tex until the danger subsides and necessary repairs are made. According to the Arklatex Homepage, the prisoners will be housed in unspecified facilities in East Texas, until they can be transferred to a new jail or returned to South Texas when the all-clear is sounded.
Offender families will not be able to visit these inmates, but will be able to communicate with them via the TDCJ inmate phone system.