LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette Parish Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of land for the construction of a new jail. The plan was given the green light at the council meeting on Wednesday night. However, some residents say they don’t want the new jail in their backyard.
The measure moves $750,000 from the Courthouse Complex fund in the budget, to the Correctional Center fund, to buy the property.
“The school is so close to the facility, actually the school where my daughters attend,” said Ravis K. Martinez, who opposed the plan. “I feel like I have more added interest.”
The new jail is planned to be built next to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Complex on Willow Street.
“I hope there would be more clarity and exposure on this issue. Not only how and why we got here, but operationally. What’s the cost if this will be built? How are we going to pay for this thing year after year,” said Martinez.
Parish officials say the downtown jail is falling apart, and beyond its expiration date. Approximately $2 million has been spent on jail repairs over the past two years. However, people who live near the proposed jail site have said they don’t want it anywhere near them.
“You find a lot of jails built in African-American communities. That’s unfortunate around the country. It’s also unfortunate that you don’t have a lot of input from those communities when those types of deals occur,” said Martinez.