Sunday, September 11, 2005


A thought: Remember on CNN the images of the thouands of prisoners on the highway? Mostly black men in orange jump-suits shackled together, some sitting in the flood waters, some on the broken segments of the bridge, all guarded by mostly white men with guns. After the first day or two we didn't see those images anymore. What happened to them? They were evacuated before the people from the convention center or the superdome.

From The New York Times "This city has no gas stations, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no hospitals and not very many people. But it does have a jail.

With all the major jails in and around New Orleans closed because of flooding, the temporary lockup opened Monday in the Greyhound Bus Station on the edge of downtown.

The jail will house people accused of looting and others arrested in New Orleans and surrounding cities, holding them until they can be sent to a state-run correctional center in St. Gabriel, about 70 miles northwest. There they will be arraigned and have an opportunity to make bail.

"This is a real start to rebuilding this city, this jail," said Burl Cain, the warden of Angola, the giant state prison in eastern Louisiana"


'Prison City' Shows a Hospitable Face to Refugees From New Orleans

HUNTSVILLE, Tex., Sept. 5 - And so they found refuge here, beside the red brick walls of the Texas death house.

"Many called it heaven.

With emergency shelters stretched tight from New Orleans to Houston, eight buses carrying more than 300 survivors of the flood ended up here in the proud "prison city" of Texas, 80 miles north of Houston, where every third or fourth resident lives behind bars, in seven prisons that confine 9,000 to 15,000 inmates.

The First Baptist Church, which backs up on Huntsville's oldest prison unit, including the nation's busiest execution chamber, was ready with cots, showers, fresh clothes and hot food. And prison trusties in white uniforms to clean and cook.

"They're very thankful that we're here to help," said Shannon Smith, 33, who is serving 10 years for aggravated assault for beating his wife while he was a drug addict.

Some evacuees said they felt blessed and had no fear of the inmates."


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