In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, it seems that every Texan (and even many Louisianians) stepped up to help in whatever way they could, and that includes Texas inmates.
“After Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, people from across the nation came together to help rebuild the Lone Star State. Offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice were no exception. Through the commissary, 145,000 offenders could choose to donate in one dollar increments to the American Red Cross,” read a post on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Facebook page.
Out of TDCJ’s inmate population, 6,663 of them contributed a total of $53,863 to Harvey relief efforts. TDCJ spokesman Jason Clark told a local news outlet, “It’s just something they chose to do, they were requesting to donate money.”
According to Clark, the average donation was about $8, but a few inmates went above and beyond giving a few hundred.
Through TDCJ’s Commissary and Trust Fund Department, friends and family of inmates can either make purchases for eligible offenders or deposit money into their accounts for them to purchase things like snacks, toiletries, and entertainment. With a limited access to funds, and an inflated price of goods, these inmates gave selflessly to help their fellow Texans.
The Houston Press noted that this isn’t the first time TDCJ inmates have done this.
Meagan Flynn writes that it started back in 2005, following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:
“Offenders had approached TDCJ administrators wondering how they could help, and started taking money out of their commissary for the relief.”