Read the PDF of our statement here.
LDF Pens Letter Urging Investigation of Prison Conditions in Beaumont, Texas
Following Hurricane Harvey
Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and Dr. Thomas Kane, Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, concerning disturbing reports about dangerous and degrading conditions at the Federal Correction Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas, in its response to Hurricane Harvey.
Accounts reveal that Hurricane Harvey led to extreme flooding within the Beaumont prison, causing water levels to rise above the ankles and restricting, and possibly contaminating, the prison’s water supply. Yet, despite this extreme flooding, the FCC in Beaumont decided against evacuation. Reports further describe lack of adequate drinking water, medical care, and air conditioning; lack of access to showers and clean and functioning toilets; retaliation against prisoners who communicated their experiences during this time; and FCC’s refusing media requests to visit the facility to report on conditions.
If accounts are accurate, these actions and conditions constitute a clear violation of the Beaumont prisoners’ constitutional rights under the First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments. LDF urges the Department of Justice to conduct a “full and independent investigation of all allegations of mistreatment and unconstitutional conduct in the Beaumont prison during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” and to remedy the situation immediately if such egregious and inhumane treatment is ongoing.
Read the full letter here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.