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Texas Inmates Donate Over $53K To Hurricane Victims

Houston Public Media

Any story with a headline that starts with "Texas Inmates..." isn't likely to be perceived as a positive one. But inmates in Texas shed their criminal labels, if only for a moment, in the wake of the devastation left when Hurricane Harvey roared through Texas.

Wall Street Journal

The Category 4 hurricane caused $200 billion dollars worth of damage in the state, and the inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice wanted to step up and help those affected. They wanted to donate money to the cause. They weren't asked if they wanted to do this by a charitable group or told to by any warden, they came up with this on their own.

You might be asking where they got the money to even consider this, well, it came directly from their commissary accounts. Commissary accounts are used to purchase things inside the jail that aren't standard issue. You want better toothpaste or shampoo? Buy it from commissary. You want something other than prison food? Buy it from commissary. You want to get a hair cut inside? You pay for it with your commissary.

The Gleaner

To inmates, their commissary funds are their live blood. It is one of the few things in prison actually worth having, and is likely each and every one of theirs most important anything.

Houston Public Media

Inmates are allowed to spend $95.00 every two weeks on things they need, and the donations came from this allowance. Can you imagine getting everything you need to survive on only $95.00 a week, especially when those small items are the only things you have to look forward to?

Well, together as group, and without prompting, 6,600 inmates raised $53,000.00 for the American Red Cross. That comes out to roughly $8 per inmate.  

Apart from the donations, they have also been working alongside their jailers to repair the very facilities that keep them confined from the rest of the world.


It just goes to show that there is humanity in everyone.