Acting Director Hurwitz visits with SER staff, assesses damages and observes clean up operations.

Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons

(BOP) – During the week of October 15, Federal Bureau of Prisons Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz traveled to the Southeast Region to meet with staff and observe first-hand the devastation left by Hurricane Michael.

During the visit, Mr. Hurwitz met with staff at FCI Marianna, FCI Tallahassee, and FPC Pensacola. He also toured FCC Yazoo City with Southeast Regional Director Jeff Keller. While there were no direct injuries to staff or inmates as a result of the storm; unfortunately, some of our Bureau family suffered great losses. At least two thirds of the staff at FCI Marianna and several staff at FCI Tallahassee have damage to their homes. Additionally, a staff member at FCC Petersburg lost two family members to flood waters from the storm.

The physical damage at FCI Marianna was extensive. Most of the fencing was damaged and will need to be entirely replaced. Every building has roof damage; in some places the roof was completely destroyed. No major physical damage occurred at the other Bureau facilities (FCI Tallahassee and FPC Pensacola) near the storm’s path. Staff and institutions continue to deal with the aftermath; institution damage assessments are currently being evaluated and a systematic approach to completing the repairs has been planned.

Staff from across the Southeast Region assisted with various aspects of supporting the evacuation operation of more than 1200 inmates from FCI Marianna. They re-designated the inmates, arranged transportation via bus or plane, safely and securely moved all of the inmates from an area with no power, on difficult road conditions with little to no outside assistance, all without a single injury or breach of security.

The Bureau is proud of the efforts of BOP staff during this significant event to carry out the mission and ensure the safety and security of inmates and the public, even in the face of personal adversity. Dedication such as this exemplifies the BOP’s core value of Correctional Excellence.

Acting Director Hurwitz stated, “Watching our staff pull together to help each other and to ensure Bureau operations continued was truly amazing and a remarkable sight to see.”