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No Standards And No Scruples [Sep. 15th, 2008|09:34 am]
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015
[The river is |relieved relieved and annoyed]

According to a very helpful Mr. Shannon Herklotz, Assistant Director with the Commission on Jail Standards, the 1000 inmates left behind in the jail on Galveston Island are alive. They have food and water and a generator so they have some form of ventilation in their cells. He also told me that the Harris county Jail also refused to evacuate their inmates and now they are also in the middle of a disaster area. But they were not on a island that was expected to be completely under water, so they may not have been under a mandatory evacuation order.

According to Mr. Herklotz, no matter what the threat, there are no laws requiring that jail inmates be evacuated to a safe location. The people in charge of the jail can force inmates to remain in any facility in any situation, however unsafe. There is nobody that can step in to help the inmates, "not even the Governor."

I'm glad the inmates on Galveston Island are OK so far. I think it's ridiculous that one man's lack of preplanning can put so many lives at risk and cause such a draw on resources during a major disaster and there is no law, and no person, who can stop him.

And I wonder why Texas tax dollars are being wasted on a Commission on Jail Standards if they can't do anything to protect jail inmates, even when there is such a clear and present danger that a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the area where the jail is located.

[User Picture]From: ginmar
2008-09-15 04:04 pm (UTC)
How many of these inmates are there, pre trial?

I wasn't aware that execution by indifference existed in the US Penal Code. I'd like some Republican to point that out to me. Then again, given Texas' record and rate of executions....
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[User Picture]From: quitereasonable
2008-09-15 05:05 pm (UTC)
It really is awful. I was trying to see if there was anything in the Texas Health and Safety Code because I know in emergencies that the Commissioner of Health (at least when it was TDH and not the Department of Human Services) is given special powers to go around the law in order to ensure the health and safety of people, but I'm having a hard time finding anything.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-15 06:02 pm (UTC)
I'm copying your post onto my LJ. If you don't want me to, you know what to do. I just could not have said it any better. This is a disgusting situation and Texas should be thanking their lucky stars-at-night that this did not turn into a state-sanctioned mass murder. They should also be scrambling to close this lethal loophole before something terrible (and really really expensive) happens.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-15 06:04 pm (UTC)
stupid computer. that last post was from yer sis.
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