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Storm Watch

TDCJ Prepared for Hurricane Laura

August 26, 2020 – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is continuing to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Laura which is now a major hurricane. All 21 units in the possible path or impact zone of the storm are on high alert or have been evacuated. Additional fuel, water and supplies have been delivered to all those units with additional staff and items on standby. 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.

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. 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.

There are now approximately 350 high-risk parolees who are or have been transported to secure locations due to mandatory evacuation orders issued in a number of counties.

TDCJ officials are working around the clock in preparation for Hurricane Laura approaching the Texas coast.

  • 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.

TDCJ employees needing information may contact the employee hotline at 888-387-4357.

Information for parole clients can be found at 855-661-8071.

Updates on preparation activities will be added as they become available to the TDCJ Web site at https://www.tdcj.texas.gov and on the agency’s social media pages.