State detention facilities in Beaumont knocked out of commission by Rita

Houston Chronicle:

Two state prisons in Beaumont, which had been evacuated before the storm, were knocked out of commission by Hurricane Rita and will remain closed for a while, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Tuesday.

Inmates and staff at a third state prison in Beaumont, the Stiles Unit, and a federal prison in the area rode out the storm, and both facilities remain in operation on backup power.

Spokesman Mike Viesca said more than 9,000 state prison inmates from several lockups in Southeast Texas were evacuated to various prisons before Rita struck. He said most will have been returned to their units by the end of the week.

He said the Gist State Jail and the LeBlanc Unit in Beaumont will remain closed until officials have time to evaluate damages and complete repairs.

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