Emergency Preparedness for Prisons Isn't Just Sandbags and Non-perishables

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 stranded people incarcerated in the New Orleans jail without food or water, the city used the experience not to question its disaster preparedness but instead to rethink who needs to be incarcerated in the first place. By easing policies in cash bail and arrests for petty offenses, the city cut its jail population by two-thirds and replaced its flooded jail with one less than one-quarter the original size. The new policies helped inspire Louisiana to revise its sentencing standards in an effort to end its distinction for having the world's highest incarceration rate.

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