St. Landry Parish is looking into creating more space for juvenile detention inmates.
The search comes ahead of a change in laws affecting juvenile detention.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz has multiple sites in mind, but brought up one at a city council meeting last week.
St. Luke’s General Hospital in Arnaudville has been closed since 1990.
Guidroz says it would be a good fit for the facility.
This comes ahead of a change in the laws regarding juveniles that is scheduled to happen in February 2019.
“17-year-olds in Louisiana are going to be considered juveniles,” says Guidroz.
Guidroz says the parish deals with about 20-25 juvenile inmates a month as of now and that is set to increase now when the law changes.
Guidroz learned that there is an organization in Arnaudville attempting to use the former hospital for a French Immersion Program.
He says he won’t step on any toes, but will be waiting if that plan doesn’t work out.
While he waits, he said he’ll scout other areas like a building behind the parish jail on North Street.
“About $300,000 to $400,000 to renovate it, purchase, renovate and convert,” says Guidroz.
Guidroz says the expansion would help with the current overcrowding of the jail.
The sheriff also says a large part of his motivation in this plan is to help the financially struggling parish government.
“Costing parish government and I’m thinking of what it’s costing parish government so I’m trying to work with parish government to ease their burden,” says Guidroz.