Texas congressman, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is looking for answers in the Beaumont prisons ordeal. After reports of water shortages and overflowing sewage after hurricane Harvey, the situation may be critical.
“Due to several reports of alarming conditions at the Beaumont facility, I have inquired with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to express my concern and obtain clarification about what actions are being undertaken to protect the wellbeing of prisoners and staff and to restore the facility to pre-disaster conditions,” said Rep. Loydd Dogget, in a news release by a prisoner’s rights group, Grassroots.
After Hurricane Harvey, the situation in Beaumont a Southeast Texas city that flooded and lost its water supply.
The three federal and three state prisons in Beaumont were not evacuated, although many people in the city were. Parts of the city and surrounding areas were asked to leave until the situation was resolved.
Prisoner Horror Stories Beaumont Prisons: Left for Dead While Harvey Struck
Prisoners tell horror stories related to water shortages: overflowing toilets, people defecating in bags, water leaks in buildings and shortages of food. While the reports are unverified, prison staff say conditions remained safe.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons stated that while there was indeed some flooding, it was not the entire prison. Especially, not where the inmates were housed.
While there were electric and water cuts, they stated the prison was safe and liveable. According to their report, the complex was able to run on its reserve of water and had enough bottled water and food for inmates and staff.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, brought in tanker trucks of water, 270,000 bottles of water and portable toilets during the water shortage. The report also indicated that there were no alarming conditions.
“When things rise of the level of someone actually being woken up to say something about a condition … and is willing to go on the record, it’s usually indicative of quite a few more inside who are actually experiencing the same stuff,” the Grassroots advocate said.