ST.LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — In St. Landry Parish, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz is presenting ideas that can prevent the growing issue of overpopulation in the parish jail.
With crime rates continuing to grow across Acadiana, law enforcement now faces the issue of having too many inmates in the jail. This causes additional costs, having to send inmates to other facilities around the state.
“The problem is costing taxpayers and parish government about one hundred thousand dollars a month,’ Guidroz said.
Guidroz is looking to work with the entire criminal justice system to find ways each can contribute to the solution.
“My contribution to this is going to be sending some of the 30 to 35 state inmates that I have here as trustees that work in the kitchen, some that work in the litter abatement program,” Guidroz said. “Some of that is going to be negatively impacted because I cannot use pre-trial inmates for work release.”
Guidroz also hopes to work with cities such as Opelousas to utilize their renovated facilities.
“Opelousas city jail has a jail that was just remodeled with state funding and they can hold about 25 to thirty inmates and right now I’m holding about 5 to 10 inmates for them,” Guidroz said. “So once we get the city chief and the mayor on board maybe they can take some of the trustees and house them in their facility.”
Guidroz also asked the indigent defenders office to keep in contact will all of their clients more consistently.
The district attorney’s office has also introduced an early billing system to bill inmates on minor charges sooner so more space can be made available.
Guidroz said judges may need to dedicate more time to hearings on the criminal docket. Saying they currently only handle these cases 4 months out of the year.
“They’re not going to like hearing that and I understand that but we have to come together to fix this problem,” Guidroz said. “It may be a short-term solution, or it may be long-term, but these are some of the things we all have to do to work together.”