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Storm Watch

Storms in the Gulf Prompt Evacuations at Several TDCJ Units

August 24, 2020 – The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is evacuating three secure facilities and a portion of a fourth facility, along with three residential facilities in the Beaumont and Jasper areas in preparation for Tropical Storm Marco and what is expected to become Hurricane Laura as the storms approach the South East Texas coast and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Beaumont Residential Reentry Center, two Transitional Treatment Centers, the Gist State Jail, LeBlanc Unit, and portions of the Stiles Unit in Beaumont, and the Goodman Unit in Jasper began evacuations Monday morning. The moves will affect approximately 3,400 offenders and 200 clients assigned to these facilities and is expected to be completed later today.

The evacuation plan is as follows:

  • Offenders assigned to the LeBlanc Unit will be evacuated to the East Texas Treatment Facility in Henderson.
  • Approximately 435 offenders assigned to the Stiles Unit will be evacuated to the Lewis Unit in Woodville.
  • Offenders assigned to the Gist State Jail will be evacuated to various Huntsville area units.
  • Offenders assigned to the Goodman Unit will be 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.

The offenders are being transported by TDCJ buses accompanied by correctional officers and other staff members who have reported to work to assist in the evacuations.

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.

TDCJ officials are working around the clock in preparation for Tropical Storms Marco and 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 has been 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.

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.

For the media: If you need additional information, please contact the Communication Office at 936-437-6052 or at Jeremy.Desel@tdcj.texas.gov.