ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – The St. Landry Parish Government is holding inmates accountable for financial responsibilities while incarcerated in jail.

There is an ordinance in place that says if an inmate is incarcerated, parish government can charge the full amount of whatever care they receive while in jail.

The ordinance was passed in 2005, charging co-pays for inmates when a doctor’s visit was needed. Throughout the years, the ordinance has been revised, charging full amounts for all medical needs.

Parish President Jessie Bellard said, “Whatever needs they need outside the normal activities, they get charged for it.”

He told News 10 it costs parish government $10-14 a day per inmate. “As soon as they are arrested, they are charged a flat fee,” Bellard added.

The budget for the jail comes from a jail tax which is a mileage property tax parish-wide. It brings in roughly $600,000 a year. “We have to be good stewards of the taxpayer money,” said Bellard.

Bellard said there is a process in place for repeat offenders.

Bellard continued, “We have frequent flyers. Whatever is on the books, whatever is on them is put toward the bill.” He said once an inmate is released, that bill does not go away.

He said he is currently working with the parish attorney on filing civil lawsuits against individuals for outstanding balances.