Allen Parish Police Juror at odds with sheriff over jail

by Brandon Richards

OBERLIN, LA (KPLC) - Allen Parish Police Juror Doug Sonnier is upset about the cost he says it takes to run the Allen Parish Jailhouse and about the plans to build a new one.

Sonnier estimates Allen Parish taxpayers send about three times as much as much larger Jeff Davis Parish on housing inmates in the parish jail. Sonnier points to the number of state inmates the sheriff allows to be incarcerated in the jail.

Sonnier estimates the parish spends $250 on the state inmates.

Allen Parish Jail Warden Terry Raspberry says the reason it costs so much to run the jail is not due to the number of state inmates the jail houses, but the fact that every town in the parish sends inmates charged with felonies to the parish jail.

The police jury has looked into building a new jail in the past but Sonnier says jurors made a mistake by putting Allen Parish Sheriff Harold Brady in charge of the plans.

"Every time we get started, the plan is turned over to him and the architect," Sonnier said. "It comes back to a jail that no one can afford."

Sonnier says the parish needs to build a 300-person facility, not a 100 or 150-man facility as the current plans call for.

Sonnier says the sheriff recommended a plan in the past, but he says if jurors had accepted that plan, the new jail would be overcrowded right now.

Sonnier says his dispute with the sheriff over jail plans is nothing new. He says in the past a slight majority of police jurors have sided with the sheriff, however Sonnier hopes that's not the case this time around.

The author of this article can be reached by email at brichards@kplctv.com

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