South Carolina prison officials are not allowing inmates to evacuate two of its state prisons in the wake of Hurricane Florence. An advocacy group is fuming about it, filing a federal lawsuit to get prisoners to safety.
Wednesday, Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys Inc. filed a 15-page legal complaint regarding the situation. The reports says that about 2,500 South Carolina prisoners in Norfolk area jails are effected.
Does Holding Inmates in Hurricane Effected Areas Violate Rights?
The prisoner advocacy group says the following constitutional rights are being violated by not evacuating the prisoners with such a storm looming:
- 4th Amendment
- 8th Amendment
- 14th Amendment
The group’s president, Mario Williams, says:
The sheriffs in those jails simply do not want to evacuate the inmates.
Both of these South Carolina jails are located in the mandatory evacuation zone. Governor Henry McMaster issued a state-of-emergency for that entire area, which is in Zone A.
Williams says that their requests have been refused by Norfolk court. They put various procedural steps in place instead.
They were trying to get the judge to rule in their favor. However, the judge told them to put together a briefing schedule. Yet, Hurricane Florence is here! An immediate decision would make much more sense.
What difference will the decision make after the hurricane has passed?
Virginia Evacuates Its Prisons in Wake of Hurricane Florence
So far, the Hurricane Florence evacuations have included about 1 million people.
One prison on the coast of Virginia evacuated somewhere around 1,000 inmates housed at Chesapeake’s Indian Creek Correctional Center. All of these prisoners were transferred 100 miles inland to Greensville Correctional Center.
Located in Zone D, Indian Creek Correctional Center is still prone to hurricane-related floods. According to a spokesperson from Virginia Board of Corrections, this jail needs to be evacuated as well.