ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The St. Landry Parish Jail is currently overcrowded, but Parish President Jessie Bellard gave News 10 some insight on what’s being done to help ease the strain.

Parish President Jessie Bellard said they can’t stop what’s happening. He said the Sheriff’s Office and local police departments are doing their jobs; putting offenders in jail, and the District Attorney is doing his job in the court system, but Bellard explained that the inmates are coming in faster than they are getting out.

“One of the biggest expenses we have is these inmates. It costs us $27 a day per inmate to house them somewhere else. We can’t afford that,” Bellard said.

The St. Landry Parish jail currently can hold 242 inmates, but right now, the inmate population sits at 340.

Bellard explained that inmates are needing to be held out of the parish, which costs about $90,000 a month.

The budget comes from a jail tax, which is a mileage property tax parish-wide. It brings in roughly $600,000 a year.

“Overall, the whole foundation of our jail feeding is $500,000 a year plus the $600,000 to maintain the jail,” says Bellard.

He told News 10 that the American Rescue Plan Act funds have been a big help. As of today, May 25, the parish government has spent $2,000,000 on out-of-parish inmate housing alone.

They’re also using that money for additional staffing. “We’ve hired other public defenders so that we can start the court process faster,” Bellard added.

The parish government is also planning to add to the jail. Bellard said they recently purchased the building across the street for more room.

“Our plan is to beef up the jail system by adding a trustee dorm that we can put 60 inmates in,” Bellard said.

Renovations are scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.