Jeff Davis Parish jail is overcrowded - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jeff Davis officials look to address overcrowding at parish jail

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • TRAFFIC: Cameron Ferry out of service until Wednesday morning

    TRAFFIC: Cameron Ferry out of service until Wednesday morning

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 04:08:05 GMT
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
    Officials have said the Cameron Ferry will be out of service until early Wednesday morning.No reason was given for the outage.Copyright 2014KPLC. All rights reserved.More >>
  • BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    BP claim forms circulating in LC area

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:42 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:42:19 GMT
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
    Over the last couple of weeks someone has been circulating so-called BP oil claim forms in the Lake Charles area. While man, if not most medical claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been settled, someone is holding meetings around the Lake area trying to get people to sign up. But they're not too forthcoming when it comes to saying who they are or who they represent. Last week there were crowds at Miss Street Church of Christ during various times of the day."People ther...More >>
  • CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    CPSB conference encourages principals to lead schools well

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:38:11 GMT
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>
    Every issue in a school always comes down to leadership. That’s one of the main points being driven at this year’s Calcasieu Parish School Board Leadership Summit. More >>
JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Inside the Jeff Davis Parish Jail, it's obvious the building has seen better days.  

"Our jail was built in the early 60s. It's an ongoing process with the Police Jury of sewage problems and water leakage. Just this morning, we had a problem with the female cell, it leaked in the courtroom," explained Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods.

Woods said the jail has a 62-bed facility, four beds per cell, but they can only house four women at any given time.

And they already have a waiting list, "It's constant overcrowding in our jail. We have well over a thousand warrants that need to be issued, but we don't have the facility to put them in," said Woods.

Some areas also double up in their purpose. For instance, the drunk tank also serves as solitary.

Woods said the jail is so overcrowded authorities are having to decide who to keep and who to release. And often, he said, those with lesser offenses are the ones being let out.

"When we do have a violent offender to put in jail, the judge makes the decision and the D.A. on who needs to go, to put the violent offender in jail," said Woods.

That means non-violent offenders are being released without serving jail time.

But there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

"The Sheriff's Office, along with the Police Jury, are finding ways to fund a facility. We need to find something at least three times the size of our jail now," said Woods.

Although the overcrowding does not compromise security, law enforcement wants to see those who need to be locked up in jail.

"We always have others waiting to be put in," said Woods.

There's a meeting Oct. 17 to decide on funding details for a new jail.

The Police Jury also met Wednesday afternoon and adopted a motion to allocate settlement proceeds from the Thornwell Oil and Gas lawsuit to the future jail project.

Jurors included an amendment though, which states if the funding does not go to the future jail, it will be used to fund road projects.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow