Trustee inmates from the Brevard County Jail work hard filling sandbags ahead of Hurricane Irma in Merritt Island, FL., Sept. 7, 2017.
Prison Visits & Issues

BREAKING NEWS: Hurricane Irma Shuts Down Florida’s Weekend Prison Visits

Weekend prison visits at all correctional facilities in Florida for Saturday (9/9) and Sunday (9/10) are canceled. The action comes in the wake of the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

Florida inmates help fill sandbags for local residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which has shut down all weekend prison visits in the state.
Florida inmates help fill sandbags for local residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which has shut down all weekend prison visits in the state.
Image Source: Bloomberg

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) explained that the plan is aimed to enhance the safety of inmates under its protection. Other proactive measures include providing 24/7 assistance to the detainees.

FDC brought in additional water and food supplies to all the state’s prison facilities ahead of the storm. If prisoner evacuations are required, the new housing locations will not be revealed at that time.

Some Florida Prisons have already evacuated more than 12,000 inmates –> Read Here

Prison loved ones will have to wait about 24 hours to find out where their incarcerated loved ones are being housed. They’ll be able to check FDC’s website for inmate locations.

The statement explained that the decision came in response to two aspects:

  • Travel restrictions across Florida
  • To ensure maximization of staff resources in preparation for the hurricane

Details on Florida’s Weekend Prison Visits Cancellations

Weekend visitation at all prison facilities in Florida for Saturday (9/9) and Sunday (9/10) are canceled.

The Florida weekend prison visits suspension includes the following state facilities:

  • All major correctional institutions
  • All annex facilities
  • All work camps
  • All community release centers

A notification will be issued if evacuations become necessary. Department staff will confirm the evacuation once it’s complete. However, inmate locations will only be shared on the FDC’s official website about 24-hours after the emergency relocation.

Trustee inmates from the Brevard County Jail work hard filling sandbags ahead of Hurricane Irma in Merritt Island, FL., Sept. 7, 2017.
Trustee inmates from the Brevard County Jail work hard filling sandbags ahead of Hurricane Irma in Merritt Island, FL., Sept. 7, 2017.
Image Source: Bloomberg

Rick Scott, Florida Governor, also recommended all state offices be closed in preparation for the expected tropical storm known as Hurricane Irma. The implementation will include every state office in Florida’s 67 counties.

FDC Has Banned Weekend Prison Visits Before

This is not the first time the Florida DOC has suspended prison weekend visits. In late August, the FDC canceled all weekend visitations. The reason given to prisoners and their loved ones was… possible disruptions which were expected to happen.

Also in August, FDC canceled weekend prison visits at Florida’s Jackson Correctional Institution. And, unlike the other incidences, the state did not give the reason for the prison visit cancellation.

Hurricane Harvey Also Causing Prison Visit Issues in Texas

In Texas, the arrival of Hurricane Harvey resulted in the evacuation of the three state prisons. The move was prompted by the rising of the flood waters from the tropical storm. Approximately 4,500 Texas prison inmates were relocated during the safety operation.

During evacuations, prisoners were also given various amenities (word used by officials) including water and food, just to name a few. But, are food and water really considered amenities? Or, are these actually necessities?

The inmates were transported by Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) buses, according to a TDCJ statement made on August, 26. Correctional officers accompanied the offenders among other members of staff who worked to assist in the Texas inmate relocation process. The prisoners were then taken to correctional facilities in East Texas.

Evacuated inmates in Texas were not allowed prison visits from loved ones while in their designated receiving units. However, they were authorized to use telephones to communicate with their prison loved ones.

Word has just gotten out how REALLY devastating and horric the conditions were in Texas during Harvey and in the midst of the Harvey Flood Zone –> Inmates Faced Horrific Conditions in Harvey Flood Zone

Read More News on Prisons & Hurricane Harvey

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.

Daniel Peterson

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.