TDCJ Assessing Situation After Hurricane Laura Landfall
August 27, 2020 – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice assessment teams are in Southeast and East Texas assessing facilities in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Early indications are that facilities did not experience any significant damage. Currently, the Stiles Unit in Beaumont and the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville are running on generator power. The region continues to experience widespread power outages.
Once assessment teams have completed their review, additional information will be provided in an update later today.
Additional fuel, water and supplies are on site at all units. In total, there have been complete evacuations of three secure facilities and parts of two other facilities, along with three residential facilities in the storm zone.
The Beaumont Residential Reentry Center, two Transitional Treatment Centers, the Gist State Jail, LeBlanc Unit in Beaumont, the Goodman Unit in Jasper, and portions of the Stiles Unit in Beaumont began evacuations Monday morning. The moves affected approximately 3,400 offenders and 200 clients assigned to these facilities and are completed. Tuesday there were additional evacuations of more than 200 offenders from the Carole Young Unit in Dickinson. The BAMBI (Baby and Mother Bonding Initiative) program including 7 mothers and babies has also been re-located to Huntsville. TDCJ anticipates returning offenders to the Carole Young Unit and relocating the BAMBI program later today. Relocation of other evacuated offenders will be dependent on access to commercial power at units that have been evacuated. The evacuation plan is as follows:
- Offenders assigned to the LeBlanc Unit evacuated to the East Texas Treatment Facility in Henderson.
- Approximately 435 offenders assigned to the Stiles Unit evacuated to the Gib Lewis Unit in Woodville.
- Offenders assigned to the Gist State Jail evacuated to various Huntsville area units.
- Offenders assigned to the Goodman Unit evacuated to the Eastham Unit in Lovelady.
- Clients from the Beaumont Residential Reentry Center and Transitional Treatment Centers will be evacuated to the Jester 1 Unit in Richmond.
- BAMBI mothers and babies evacuated to Huntsville.
- Carole Young Unit in Dickenson partial evacuation to the Estelle Unit.
COVID Precautions are being taken in all evacuations and returns. All offenders and staff are using N-95 mask PPE at all times. Buses being used for transportation are being treated with Vital Oxide electrostatic foggers both before and after each transportation run. In addition, mattresses and offender belongings are being treated with the system before they are transported to a new facility.
TDCJ officials are working around the clock to assess any impacts from for Hurricane Laura.
- An emergency command center in Huntsville is operating 24-7
- Additional staff has been called in to help affected units
- Emergency generators and extra fuel is in place
- Medical staff is available to provide care to special need offenders
- Additional food and water delivered to units
Families may contact TDCJ’s 24-hour hotline at 844-476-1289 to obtain information about an offender.