As reported by, New Jersey’s Department of Corrections is preparing for the possibility of having to relocate hundreds of state prison inmates as Hurricane Irene approaches. The department issued a statement saying emergency evacuation plans are being dusted off at all 13 state prisons.

A primary concern is the Southern State Correctional Facility in Cumberland County where some of the 2,300 prisoners are housed in modular units. Other facilities are in flood-prone areas.

Corrections spokeswoman Deidre Fedkenheuer says some low-classification inmates would be moved into brick and mortar buildings. Others would relocated to other facilities. No inmates have been moved so far.  

The Department declined to release details of the plans because of security concerns. However, about 500 inmates were relocated from Southern State ahead of a severe storm several years ago.