Locked and Loaded: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Response to Hurricane Katrina

Within days of Hurricane Katrina’s historic and devastative landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States, New Orleans already had a new jail. Fashioned from the empty hulk of the bus depot, “Camp Greyhound,” as it came to be called, was set to lock over 700 people in rapidly erected cages surrounded by cyclone-fencing. In the first days the jail saw nearly 250 people move through its doors. Many were black men arrested for “looting” in the wake of the most destructive storm in recent memory that, paired with lagging government response, left basic survival resources scarce and transportation to drier, safer land nearly impossible to find. On September 2, 2005, Burl Cain, warden of the infamous Louisiana State Prison, better known as Angola, volunteered to come down to New Orleans to run what came to be called Camp Greyhound. It was, he said, a “real start” to rebuilding the city…

From, “Locked and Loaded: The Prison Industrial Complex and the Response to Hurricane Katrina,” in Through the Eye of Katrina: Social Justice in the United States, edited by Kristin A. Bates and Richelle S. Swan, published by Carolina Acadmic Press, 2007


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