When we calculate the big list o' good times America has had, Hurricane Katrina isn't going to rank too highly up there. The storm and its aftermath are thought to have killed over 2,000 people, displaced hundreds of thousands more, and caused over $100 billion in damages. And those are just the fun parts that you've heard about. Meanwhile, there's a chapter of the storm no one seems to like talking about, starring some poor bastards in prison.
According to human rights researchers who interviewed inmates held in a prison called Templeman III, after the floodwaters hit, the people running this prison -- guards, administrators, everyone -- up and left, abandoning 600+ prisoners in flooded cells without food or water. For four fucking days.
Getty, zudin We checked the math, and it turns out that's not good.
According to a timeline of events pieced together by these researchers, the prisoners last reported seeing guards on August 28 -- the day the hurricane came ashore and the vast majority of city residents had fled or holed themselves up inside the paradise that was forming in the Superdome. By August 29, the prison was a lawless ghost town filled with chest-high floodwaters and -- oh, cool -- turds, thanks to a backed-up sewage system.
As is their way, the inmates took matters into their own hands, some of them managing to break out of their cells to escape the rising waters. Others, in the vain hope that someone would give a shit, hung signs out of their cells begging for help -- a sight witnessed by a correctional officer at another prison. Regardless, it took until September 1 for someone to realize that, yes, they'd accidentally Home Alone'd an entire prison, and yes, they should probably get around to rescuing them.
American Civil Liberties Union Sadly, they didn't think to rescue them from the other guards, too.