Prisoners of Katrina-trapped in the hurricane

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Natural Catastrophe, Real Event

I only started researching on the whole Katrina situation and the anarchy that followed in the wake of the hurricane, but found a documentary already worth sharing. Since this is my first post on a real event I would like to remind everybody (including me)…this is real! People got injured or died, lost their homes or loved ones. No fiction. I don’t wish any of that to happen or to be disrespectful. On the contrary as you will see watching the BBC documentary about prisoners left behind locked up in New Orleans’ prisons.

While everybody tries to get out of the city New Orleans prisoners aren’t part of any evacuation plan. Some don’t even know a hurricane is about to hit New Orleans with full force. Soon enough the water levels are rising and the ground floors are flooded. In a haste prison guards lock up up to 8 inmates in cells laid-out for two. With failing electricity and backup generators obtaining control over the paniced prisoners and providing supplies becomes impossible. Some electric doors jam and seal off some cells permanently, meaning no fresh water or any food, no hygiene, medication or knowledge of rescue for several days. Other prisoners can free themselves and start to riot, revive gang wars or simply to breakout from the deathtrap.

On the outside civilians seek shelter near or at the prisons on elevated & reinforced structures. In one case it is virtually one remaining door seperating rioting prisoners from shelter seeking people, which luckily hold.

Some people might even say (like one prison warden): “They are criminals, it is their fault they were in prison the time Katrina hit New Orelans”. Please remember no one is guilty unless proven so. Many of the prisoners were either just arrested or there to serve a short sentence in New Orleans parish prison. a) In my point no one deserves to live through an event like this and b) the nightmare didn’t end after final evacuation. Since evidence, IDs or charges were destroyed some were imprisoned over 200 instead of 7 days, although not in water flooded prisons but in prisons flooded with inmates (5000 instead of 2000).

This documentary is a shocking account of one certain aspect of Katrina’s aftermath.

There is also a book of the same name, “Prisoners of Katrina”, which I haven’t read yet…but it’s ordered already.


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