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Prisoners Left Behind In Wake Of Hurricane Again

By August 28, 2011

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When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, officials chose not to evacuate approximately 7,000 inmates, leaving some of them trapped in flooded cells and later on a bridge for days without food or water. Officials recently made the same decision about prisoners in New York that were directly in the path of Hurricane Irene. At a recent press conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Riker's Island would not be evacuated, despite the fact that the island is surrounded by areas with the second highest evacuation rating. Riker's Island itself does not have an evacuation rating, perhaps because the New York Department of Corrections has no evacuation plan for the roughly 12,000 inmates housed there. What's more is that Riker's Island was reportedly built on landfill, making it especially vulnerable to disasters. Despite the outcome of Hurricane Irene, this disaster sheds an interesting light on how prisoners are treated and thought of. Why are they seemingly considered disposable in times of crisis? Read more about the prisoners left behind during Hurricane Katrina and look at this image detailing the evacuation zones for New York.


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