LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is strictly enforcing COVID safety protections for Lafayette Parish Correctional Center inmates and staff.

Public Communications Director Captain John Mowell confirms incoming inmates are being held in separate pods before transferring to the general population.

Currently, LPCC has five inmates who tested positive and are being quarantined.

The parish jail has a population of around 550 inmates.

Mowell says those inmates will have to be monitored while inside the facility.

He says the correctional center administration and management have done a great job following, developing, and adjusting safety protocols.

“Protocols have changed some.  Initially, when we started out it was a fourteen-day quarantine whenever somebody was booked off the street. Presently, that’s down to a 7-day quarantine.”

Plus, whenever a person is brought off the streets, they’re placed in isolation for seven days.

“During that time voluntarily they’re asked if they want to take a test. If they do take a test and then it comes back negative, then they‘re allowed to proceed into the general population,” Mowell added.

If the COVID test is positive or the inmate declines testing, then they’ll remain quarantined for the seven-day period.

Mowell calculates there are 34 pods and three of those pods have been set aside for incoming inmates.

“We will also quarantine a pod if any inmate becomes positive for whatever reason, then we will quarantine that whole pod for a period of seven days.”

According to Mowell, the Department of Corrections (DOC) does not allow, at this time, the transfer of DOC classified inmates from facility to facility.

He says the lifting of the no-transfer restriction will be decided at the state level.

“We’re hoping to be able to reach a point where we started transferring inmates into other facilities because it helps you manage your population better when you have that flexibility to transfer inmates.”

Plus, the correctional center recently went through an accreditation cycle with the American Correctional Association (ACA).

Mowell says the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center scored 100% on all mandatory standards.