ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) St. Landry Parish officials say they don’t have enough room in their jail to house more inmates, and it’s becoming a big problem.
The jail is so full right now, they’re having to send new inmates to other parishes.
Parish officials say that’s costing almost $100,000 a month, but they have a plan to fix it.
“We can’t stop what’s happening. The sheriff’s office and the police departments are doing their job, putting them in jail. Our district attorney is doing his job. It’s just there’s more coming in than getting out,” St. Landry Parish President Jessie Bellard said.
Bellard says their jail holds 242 inmates, and right now, the jail is at full capacity.
“We’re having to take these inmates and transfer them to other parish prisons. Right now, we have 116 [inmates] that’s outside the parish. That costs us roughly $94,000 or $95,000 a month,” he added.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says right now, every inmate that’s arrested is being sent to other parishes, but keeping the inmates in the parish will save money.
That’s why parish government is planning to add onto the jail.
The renovation will be able to hold 40 more inmates. Bellard says they also bought a building across the street to turn it into another jail to hold 60 trustee inmates.
“Between those two, we’ll get back 100 inmates from other parishes,” he told News Ten.
When construction is finished, St. Landry Parish will be able to hold 342 inmates.
“It’s just that there’s so much activity out there, so many arrests being made, that there’s more coming in than getting out. It’s no fault of anybody. It’s just happening, so we want to make sure we have a place to put them. If somebody is violating the law, and the deputies or the police officers feel they need to be put in jail, they need to be put in jail. I want to make sure we have the accommodations for them.”
Bellard says construction will start in the summer of 2022. The jail will take a year to complete.