As Hurricane Dorian looms slowly closer to the shores of South Carolina evacuations have been ordered for certain coastal communities. Despite these calls, Ridgeland Correctional Institute, in Jasper County, an area that makes up the very southeast coastal tip of South Carolina, is refusing to evacuate their inmates. Their reasoning is that the prison is the “safest place” for inmates and staff. They have apparently stocked the building with enough food, water, and supplies to last folx who will be trapped inside for weeks. The confidence put into this institute is unsettling considering the same non-actions occurred just last year with Hurricane Florence. Though Governor McMaster announced publicly that they were “...not going to gamble with the lives of the people of South Carolina. Not a one,” he did not ensure that the jail was evacuated. It seems that the same non-action is being taken this time with Dorian, despite this storm’s equally threatening ferocity and power.
From Hurricane Harvey, to Hurricane Florence, and now with Hurricane Dorian, it is clear our government does care about incarcerated people, an already vulnerable population, made even more vulnerable in these times of natural crises.