November 6, 2018

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Planning for the Mass Movement of Inmates

Gordon Graham
Category: Corrections

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for the leaders of correctional facilities. It deals with planning for a mass movement of inmates. 

Don’t wait until the hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, or fire is bearing down on you.

Last year, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Key West, Florida had to evacuate their ENTIRE jail. They moved 460 inmates and 120 staff members over 220 miles. They went north to avoid Hurricane Irma. This could not have been accomplished without great planning and help from outside the department. 

The mass movement of inmates is a worst-case scenario. But it might be necessary before, during, or after a disaster.  

Now is the time to make realistic plans for the TOTAL evacuation of your facility. Ask yourself some important questions. What vehicles will be available? How will you move your most dangerous or disruptive inmates? What about sick or mentally ill inmates? What will you do with the inmate property, mattresses, linens, uniforms, and records? Have you had discussions with your local courts about the idea of releasing inmates who are nearing completion of their sentences?  

Who is going to help you with this major endeavor? Do you have pre-arranged MOUs with another county, regional, or state facility where you can take your inmates? If you need to relocate staff, where will they stay when you reach your temporary destination? Where will they sleep and eat? Are they familiar with the facility they will be working in? 

There is A LOT to consider. Start working on your plan NOW. Don’t wait until the hurricane, flood, tornado, earthquake, or fire is bearing down on you. It will probably be too late.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off. 

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