For Public Defenders who serve in coastal areas, the story on toady’s show will be all too familiar
For Public Defenders who serve in coastal areas, the story on toady’s show will be all too familiar. As Hurricane Ian barreled toward the Florida coast, a state of emergency was declared and evacuation plans started to come together, but as is almost always the case, no one thought of those incarcerated.
Today, Hunter spoke with Kathy Smith, Chief Public Defender in the 20th Judicial District of Florida, to discuss the impacts of the storm on those left in jail. Dating as far back as memory allows, state’s failed their obligations to protect the lives of people both in and out of jail when natural disasters strike, and Hurricane Ian was no exception. For days, people, many of whom were in jail simply because they could not afford to pay bail, lived with raw sewage and without clean drinking water.
Luckily, no one died from the state’s neglect, but this episode serves as a powerful warning and reminder for those with a duty to protect people’s lives: when a natural disaster strikes, remember the people who cannot evacuate and think of a way to keep them alive.