JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Work is underway in the Jeff Davis Parish jail to upgrade surveillance cameras.
The upgrade will mean the jail can be monitored from numerous different computers. Cameras became an issue in 2007 when a woman inmate made allegations she was sexually assaulted.
"They should never put their hands on you. And he did more than put his hands on me," said Allen when she filed the suit. She claimed a jailer by the name of Mark Ivory had sexually assaulted her between December 2006 and February 2007. Sheriff Ricky Edwards won't talk about that: " I'm not going to talk about any lawsuits."
But he says since late 2006 or 2007 cameras in the jail have, for the most part, been working. " Some of the cameras went out and then there are some cabling issues. So, we had corrected those back then. Again, we had another outage that caused some equipment damage."
Now the surveillance system is getting an upgrade that will allow monitoring from any computer in the building. Says Edwards, "It's a big upgrade because the chief deputy will be able to monitor them, I will be able to monitor them in my office, basically from any computer rather than just from the dispatch or the jailers office."
The cameras not only provide continual monitoring but continual recording as well and the recordings will be kept for about three weeks. " We are big proponents of cameras. We now have cameras in our units not only to protect the public but to also protect the deputies and the law enforcement officers."