All adult offenders in the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Transitional Work Program were forced to surrender Wednesday morning. This comes after the program was abruptly terminated.
While many people are preparing their Thanksgiving meals or traveling to see loved ones, several men and women apart of LPSO’s Transitional Work Program were forced to turn themselves at the correctional center.
LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- It was a 24-hour notice before they had to surrender. Many affected families believe that wasn’t enough time for them to gather funds for bonds or to send their loved ones off to jail.
“Why would y’all do this two days before Thanksgiving? These men have families. My fiancé has a daughter. How is he supposed to explain this to his daughter,” said Aron Smith.
She walked and hugged her fiance before watching him turn himself in. “He called me crying because they let everybody know yesterday at 8’oclock in the morning. They’re thinking it’s just a normal day. That they would have to go back to jail. That they would have to surrender,” said Smith.
He was working underneath the STOP Program with LSPSO. He’s one of many, alongside inmates, that were allowed to be released from the correctional center, work and live a more productive lifestyle under minimal supervision.
“Almost four months in this program. It was helping me. Helping me stay out of jail. Now, I got to go back to jail for no reason,” said one offender.
LPSO’s Public Information Officer released a statement in-part saying “We are currently undergoing a financial reorganization.” Smith said this is no excuse to give those in good standing false hope.
“He has three job offers. He was supposed to go take drug tests for it so he can start working. He’s about to lose his job opportunities and he has done nothing wrong. These programs were made to give these men and women a second chance,” Smith added.
Many of those who surrendered told KLFY NEWS 10 they hope there is a quick solution because they believe their future depends on it.
“They’re giving people programs and just shutting them down. It’s not right,” said one offender.
“This is a program that actually changed my life for the better. So, I’m very pleased with the program. Hopefully, they can find some other way to continue it,” said another.
LPSO confirms the agreement to send workers to places of employment is to be effective on Monday, November 30.